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Friday, August 3, 2012

Kittens Removed from Storm Sewer Drain

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Shortly after 12 noon on Friday, August 3, employees of a Beltsville business were calling everyone they could think of after hearing kittens crying in distress.  They were employees of a business at 12304 Baltimore Avenue and could hear the kittens crying from a sewer located in the rear of their building.  Their last call was to the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department.  Within 15-20 minutes a large contingent of firefighters, paramedics and the Technical Rescue Team had arrived to evaluate the situation. 

Two new born kittens, possibly 2 days old, were located in a storm drain attached to a storm sewer with no mother cat in sight.  This appeared to be a relatively straightforward rescue for the highly trained and experienced team members of the Technical Rescue Team, however, they proceeded with due diligence and took all safety precautions into account to ensure there were no injuries to personnel.  The air quality in the sewer was tested with an atmospheric monitor and determined that the air quality was good and rescuers could proceed without breathing apparatus.  Safety harnesses and ropes were attached to the one team member that would descend about 3-feet into the sewer.  Fire Fighter/Technician Vincent Verdadero, a 6-year member of the Fire/EMS Department, brought a small cage provided to him by an officer from the County Animal Management as he entered the storm sewer.  Within a minute, 2 newborn kittens, were brought out of the sewer and turned over to Kenwin Adams, a County Animal Control Officer.

There were about 40 firefighters and medics on location that remained available for service in the event of an emergency incident were to occur in the area.  The removal of the kittens from the storm drain by trained professionals prevented civilians from entering the sewer system and possibly risking their own health and well being during a rescue attempt.  Additionally, taking the time and effort to rescue the kittens was simply the right thing to do.

For additional information about animal adoption and other services provided by  the Prince George’s County Animal Management Division visit their website here.  

All Photos by Mark Brady, PGFD PIO
The two domestic short hair 2-day old kittens await their rescue by the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department.

Firefighters don safety equipment before entering sewer.

Firefighters don safety equipment before entering sewer.

MS. barber, one of the employees that heard the kittens crying in the sewer, checks on them.

Two domestic short hair kittens were slated to go to a kitten rescue group via Animal Management.

A firefighter hands over the two kittens to an animal control officer.