When an animal rescuer learned that a kitten was about to drown in a storm drain, she rushed over, and with help from firefighters and volunteers, she crawled in to rescue the tiny kitty.
In 2015, Dorella Tuckwiller, of St. Albans in West Virginia, received an email about a weeks-old kitten that was stuck in a storm drain. With rainfall filling up the sewers, Tuckwiller quickly asked for help on the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee’s Facebook page, a local animal rescue group that she set up.
Some residents were already trying to save the kitten, but it avoided them and backed to the other end of the storm drain that was covered by a grate.
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Once the West Side Volunteer Fire Department crew arrived, they quickly pumped the water out, which allowed Tuckwiller to climb inside.
She managed to grab hold of the kitten, and both of them were pulled to safety by a rope that was tied to Tuckwiller’s ankle.
She later told Gazette-Mail that there was only about six inches of space between her head and water, making her worried for the kitten’s safety.
“My biggest fear was I was going to lose him,” Tuckwiller said. “If I had dropped him… that was my biggest fear was not being able to hold him above the water and dropping him.
“I don’t climb in storm drains all the time.”
While it was a happy ending for the little kitten, Tuckwiller was saddened that the kitten’s sibling did not make it.
“Although we are extremely thankful for the life we were able to save, we are heavy-hearted for the lives that were lost before we arrived,” Tuckwiller told WSAZ. “This is the part of rescue that is the toughest.”
Nevertheless, Tuckwiller is still grateful to those who helped out in the rescue.
“Everybody who came together has been amazing, if the fire department hadn’t been pumping the water out, I don’t think there would have been enough space in there to get to him,” she said. “Every single person standing right here who shared what I posted, who responded, everyone is a hero. It takes a little army to save one little life.”
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