Sometimes, law enforcement officers get calls they never want to experience. Getting a call to retrieve a deceased animal, no matter the circumstance, can be heartbreaking. In this case, it unexpectedly turned out to have an incredibly happy ending.
A Cat and A Swamp Cooler
Cat in a Swamp Cooler
In Pueblo, Colorado a call came in for a cat in a swamp cooler. Stephanie Dominguez, a Pueblo Animal Law Enforcement Officer, took the call and headed to the home of a woman in her 90s. The woman said she was not able to use her swamp cooler due to what she believed was a kitten stuck in the blower assembly turbine.
For those not familiar with the term, what exactly is a swamp cooler? According to the Department of Energy, a swamp cooler is also known as an evaporative cooler. It is an alternative to an air-conditioning system and is eco-friendly. It was a very hot summer day, and the woman needed her swamp cooler to cool her home.
When Stephanie arrived, she was informed by the woman that she believed the kitten has passed away after being stuck in the turbine. With some investigation, the events took an interesting turn. The kitten was a full-grown cat rather than a kitten, and it was alive! Now it was a race against time to get the cat safely freed from the turbine. Stephanie knew she needed some help and called for some backup. Officers Steve Medina, Skylar Sardello, and Austin Estavillo arrived to give Stephanie some assistance.
“I could see the cat had actually broken into the little part (of the swamp cooler) and managed to get himself stuck down at the bottom. He could not move his leg very well, it was outside the (turbine) wheel,” Dominguez told the Pueblo Chieftain.
Batons and The Rescue
Over a Day Trapped Inside the Cooler
After trying to reach him, Stephanie was still too short to get him. She then used a baton to push the cat up from beneath, and Skylar was able to grab him. As soon as he was freed, he let the team know that he was a feisty little floof and just wanted out of there! Stephanie was able to determine, even with his spicy demeanor toward them, that the cat did have some wounds that needed taken care of.
Next, Stephanie and her team transported him to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region so he could receive treatment. According to the homeowner, she said she heard meowing coming from the area of the cooler about 36 hours earlier. Poor kitty! After getting a nice look over and checkup, the Humane Society gave the all-clear and sent him on his way back home to his nearby cat colony after seeing his tipped ear.
The cat is not owned by the homeowner, but rather he is a feral cat who has previously been trapped, neutered, and released. Somehow, he decided to explore the cooler unit and got his leg stuck. Possibly, as someone suggested on Facebook, the cat was looking for condensation to drink on a hot day. Thus, a good reminder that cats and other animals depend on access to clean drinking water when it’s scorching out there.
Congratulations to this extraordinary team for saving this cat’s life!