The kitten had fallen down a narrow pipe in Venice, California. But it was determined to change its fate.
Covered in mud and trapped 25 feet down the pipe, it meowed as loud as it could—until a geologist, whose team had bored out a nearby shaft the day before, finally heard its cries for help.
The Los Angeles area’s Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team (SMART) was called in to rescue the kitten. SMART rescuers Ernesto Poblano and Felix Lopez used an infrared camera attached to the end of a long pole to investigate the pipe and find the kitten. Once it was spotted, and the rescuers assessed the animal’s physical surroundings, they made a plan to safely remove the kitten from the pipe.
The team used a “flex pole,” or a custom catch pole they made out of PVC pipe with a cable looped at one end, to reach the kitten. They attached a video camera to the end, giving them a closer look as they worked to secure the cable around the kitten.
Once they had a secure grip on the kitten, the rescue team was able to hoist the animal successfully out of the pipe. The kitten was taken to North Central Animal Shelter, where it was given veterinary treatment, a bath, a big meal, and a happy ending: adoption by a family the very same weekend it was rescued.