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Watch crews rescue 'lucky' kitty from Petersburg storm drain: 'She got it!'

'It seems friendly. It was just obviously scared with all the loud noises going on.'
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Posted at 10:24 PM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 22:24:54-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Several agencies worked to free a kitten dubbed Lucky, who was trapped in a storm drain in Petersburg Wednesday.

The scene unfolded along South Jones Street after an officer working a crime scene nearby heard the animal crying for help just before 3 p.m.

That officer went to investigate and discovered the animal was in the storm drain.

As a result, animal control, public works and fire crews responded.

CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil and Crime Insider Jon Burkett, who were already in the area because of the other call, provided live coverage on Facebook.

"How did the cat get down here? We don't know..." Covil said.

Burkett said that every time workers got close, the kitten seemed to get spooked and run away.

"It started over on that side of South Jones Street... The cat has crawled through this pipe under the road," Burkett said pointing across the street. "But they are trying to lure him up out of the storm drain.”

Workers first tried using a shovel to grab the cat and then a bucket attached to a rope was lowered into the hole.

After offering up food, workers used a phone to play kitten sounds in another attempt to coax out the feline.

"Is there one or two cats," Burkett asked. "They're playing kitten sounds, so it's coming back this way. That's pretty genius."

After nearly an hour, Jessica Calloway with Petersburg Animal Control, who went down two different manholes into the storm drain system, managed to hook the cat.

"She got it. Look at that. Look at that, folks," Covil exclaimed. "It may have taken a little bit of time, but there is a kitten that Jessica has snatched and she's getting it off the pole."

Calloway estimated the gray male domestic short-hair was at least 10 weeks old. He appeared to be healthy and in good spirits after the ordeal, Calloway said.

"It seems friendly," Calloway said. "It was just obviously scared with all the loud noises going on."

Calloway said the cat, which was dubbed Lucky, will be given a thorough examination by a veterinarian.

"There's no telling where it came from," Calloway noted. "We'll take it back to the shelter, and after its state-mandated hold is up, and as long as it's healthy, it will be available for adoption at the shelter."

Calloway credited Officer Dennis' quick thinking for finally catching the kitty.

"Officer Dennis made the decision to play some kitten noises, and it sure came to that," Calloway said.

Asked about the city's response to the situation, Calloway said workers and first responders often work in tandem.

"We all pitch in and help out where it's needed," Calloway said. "All the departments work great together, so we couldn't be happier."

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