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Animal control officer helps free kitten from drain

September 19, 2008

When animal control officer Michael Shifflett responded to a call for assistance from field supervisor Evelyn Garrett, he got more than he bargained for.

The officers were responding to a neighborhood call to help a kitten that had become trapped in a drain. When the drain hole cover was removed the call became a little more difficult than initially anticipated.

The first officer to arrive at the scene was Officer Garrett, who descended into the drain where she found two pipes running in different directions. One ran under the road while the other one ran under the sidewalk. She saw the kitten in the pipe that ran under the sidewalk but it ran deeper into the pipe when called.

"The kitten was really frightened and I realized I needed another hand to catch her," Garrett said. "I called for assistance from Officer Shifflett and that is when things got a bit muddy."

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When Shifflett arrived, he descended into the pipe that ran under the sidewalk. That pipe was 3 feet in diameter and the bottom of it was covered in inches of mud. As he crawled through the mud, Shifflett was able to maneuver the kitten toward Officer Garrett who rescued it and removed it to safety.

As neighborhood children looked on, Officer Shifflett crawled out of the drain pipe, covered in mud. "It was all in a day's work," said Shifflett, adding, "We had to get that little kitten out of there so I did what I had to do." Both Officer Shifflett and the kitten survived the adventure, muddied but no worse for the wear.

The animal shelter is at 13011 Maugansville Road in Hagerstown. Go to www.hswcmd.org on the Web for information on animal-related issues, directions to the shelter and information about programs and services.

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