Kitten rescued from storm drain after eight hours

Local News

A kitten caught in a storm drain for nearly eight hours was saved by three bystanders, but Bakersfield Animal Control is advising the public to leave stray cats alone.

On Saturday afternoon, Michelle Fabbri and another woman spotted the cat, just four weeks old, at the bottom of a 10-foot pit at the Northwest Promenade shopping center. It was also pouring rain.

“As soon as I got out of the car, I could just hear its cries,” Fabbri said. “There was like a little mound of dirt on the side where the kitty was sitting, and the water was just rushing through.”

After numerous calls to the fire department, and even 911, a representative from Bakersfield City Animal Control arrived.

“She stuck a couple of poles down there but couldn’t get it,” Fabbri explained. “She said she wouldn’t go in the hole. She also responded that they’re overpopulated with cats in that area anyway. So I’m wondering whose job is it?”

That’s when Fabbri took action.

Her husband pried off the sewer cover with a crowbar, then placed a ladder into the hole. Fabbri descended into the drain to carry the kitten up.

Fabbri has since named the kitten Miss Cleo. Cleo joins six other rescue cats and several rescue dogs at her home.

“I feel like as a human having the capability of helping (animals), that’s what we have to do–we can’t just leave them on the streets to fend for themselves,” she said.

However, when we reached out to City Animal Control, they advised for the public’s safety to leave feral cats alone. They said cats are typically capable of rescuing their own kittens.

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