Kitten Rescued From Pipe in Desert Hot Springs
DESERT HOT SPRINGS- A team of officers recovered a kitten that had gotten trapped in underground PVC pipes in a Desert Hot Springs vacant lot Thursday afternoon.
After more than two hours of digging, the officers were able to rescue the 6-week-old gray, tiger-striped kitty. He somehow ended up inside the PVC pipes which are usually used as protective coverings for electrical wiring.
The pipes were located in a lot near the intersection of Palm Drive and Estrella Avenue.
Riverside County Animal Services dispatched an officer to the location after an owner of a nearby business said he heard a cat crying, but struggled to find the specific location of the cries.
Officer Gerald Duchene eventually discovered the repeated meowing coming from inside the PVC pipes.
Only about 1 foot of two PVC pipes was exposed, however, and the rest of the pipe headed underground by roughly 4 feet.
"If the cat fell in there - or was placed inside the pipes - it would never have been able to make it up the slippy surface," Officer Duchene said.
Realizing that the job required some extra manpower, Officer Duchene called for backup. Officers James Huffman and Eric Espejo teamed up with Duchene to take turns digging in the 95-degree heat.
They eventually got enough of the piping exposed to realize that the cat was located inside a 15-foot, horizontal stretch of the piping. Officer Huffman used a hacksaw to cut two ends. They then used a water hose at a low pressure to force the cat to scurry to the other open end. Huffman had the honors of snaring the kitty as it tried to avoid the water flow.
"As we kept digging, it just cried and cried and cried," Officer Huffman said. "The meowing didn't stop until we finally got the little guy out and into our arms."
Since the kitten is so young, Officer Duchene said he would foster the little guy with his wife, Sarah.
The couple will foster the kitten until it is old enough to be adopted from the county's Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms. Officer Duchene nicknamed the kitten "Piper."