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A cat that was rescued from a sewer pipe and the trap in which he was caught.
Courtesy photo
A cat that was rescued from a sewer pipe and the trap in which he was caught.

3 city departments unite to rescue cat caught in trap

By Paul Huggins
phuggins@decaturdaily.com 340-2395

It was a long morning for a black male kitty that had to endure not only the pain of a steel-jaw leg trap but also the harshness of a watery rescue from a sewer.

"There's a good chance it will need its foot removed," said Mindy Gilbert, Decatur Animal Shelter director.

The cat, which may or may not be someone's pet, apparently got snapped by the trap designed to catch small wildlife such as raccoons, she said. Then the cat ran to the sewer with the trap attached.

The incident occurred at about 11 a.m. Friday in an alley behind Brownstone Court Southwest.

"Of course the cat was stressed that it couldn't get out and panicked and ran into a storm drain," Gilbert said.

The sewer pipe where the cat escaped was too small for an animal control officer to reach. Both Decatur Fire and Rescue and the Public Works Department joined the rescue, using their water trucks to flush the cat out.

The cat received treatment by veterinarian Dr. Steve Osborne and remains at the animal shelter in hopes its owner will claim it.

Besides not knowing whether the cat, which was not wearing a collar, is someone's pet, Gil-bert said they don't know who owned the trap because the cat dragged it away from where it caught him.

It's possible the trap was set for a nuisance animal, such as a raccoon, she said, but whether it was intended for a cat, a dog or a wild animal, a trap like that shouldn't be used in an urban area.

"What would happen if a child accidentally ran into it?" she said. "And if you capture a wild animal by the leg, what do you do with it then? This cat was hard enough to handle."

Any Decatur resident who wants to catch a nuisance cat or dog can borrow a humane trap from the animal shelter, and its staff will retrieve any animal caught. And if residents have problems with nuisance wild-life, the shelter will refer them to local wildlife catchers, she said. The animal shelter's phone number is 341-4790.

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