A Story for a Rainy Day: Meows from a Storm Drain

It’s a gray, chilly, drizzly day in August. Two friends are taking a walk when they hear something that sounds like a tiny meow. Where is that coming from?? Stop. Listen. There it is. It’s coming from a storm drain. And so they did what all compassionate people would do, they knelt down on the wet pavement and meowed back to the kitten and the kitten sent up a weak meow back to them.

Next, they called Anchorage Animal Care & Control and Officer Hoopingarner responded to the call. Arriving at the scene, Hoopingarner saw the two women, still kneeling and still meowing to the kitten. Only able to move the grate a few inches, Officer H. reached in with a net and catchpole. The kitten cried out again but did not come forward. He tried enticing her forward with food but, again, more meows but no forward movement. He knew he had to get into the drain if he was going to get this kitten out.

Animal Control Officer Jonsen and officer-in-trainer Chertkow arrived on scene. And so did Mitch, a 10-year old boy who was eager to help. What 10-year old boy doesn’t want to help rescue a kitten from a storm drain?! Officer H. enlisted Mitch as his assistant so Mitch happily handed Officer H. tools and took pictures for him.

And still the kitten meowed. She would cry for a minute or two and then go silent. Officer H. says, “It was tough to hear because I could tell she was exhausted.” Everyone just kept telling the kitten she was going to be OK.

John from Street Maintenance arrived and went down into the drain where he was able to spot the kitten sitting on top of a pipe. Officers Hoopingarner and Jonsen and Chertkow were busy taping snappy snares and catchpoles together. The plan was to extend the make-shift pole from another storm drain and entice the kitten to move forward into a net being held by Officer H.

Officer Jonsen ventured down into the storm drain and with the help of Cherkow, fed the combined snappy snares and catchpoles down the length of the drain while Officer H. laid on the wet pavement holding the net where the kitten would, hopefully, appear. Finally…the kitten poked her head out and Officer H. said, “I could hear the small audience holding their breath.”

The kitten took one small step forward but then retreated into the pipe. Officer Jonsen added another catchpole and urged the kitten forward again. One step, another step…and Officer H. had a soaking wet, cold, exhausted kitten in his net.

Everyone cheered.  And then Jessica, the Good Samaritan who called us, summed it all up with this, “You saved a kitten’s life today! Isn’t that awesome?” Yes, Jessica, it is awesome.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank Jessica and her friend Christine and Mitch for caring. We also thank Street Maintenance for their assistance.  And we’re proud of our Animal Control Officers for working together to save this one little life.

1 Response to “A Story for a Rainy Day: Meows from a Storm Drain”


  1. 1 Deborah Voves August 24, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Awesome rescue! Thank you so much for saving that darling little kitten!


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