Inspection Camera Aids in Cat Rescue

Morehead City, North Carolina, deploys its RapidView IBAK system to save a kitten stuck in a storm sewer
Inspection Camera Aids in Cat Rescue
Morehead City police officer Nathan Bullock pulled the kitten from the sewer after a Public Works crew used an inspection camera to track the animal and herd it to an open drain. (Photo by Carteret County News-Times)

Providing a clear picture of pipe defects and blockages will always be job No. 1 for an inspection camera. But every so often, animal rescue comes into play. Cleaner.com has featured such stories before, and another one occurred recently in Morehead City, North Carolina.

According to a report in the Carteret County News-Times, Liz Garner was sitting on her porch late one evening last month when she heard the cries of a kitten coming from a storm drain.

“I called 911 and was told to call animal control,” she told the Carteret County News-Times. “One of the communicators actually came over on her midnight break to try and help recover the kitten.”

Off-duty police officer Nathan Bullock also responded and attempted a rescue after hearing about the situation.

“My arms just aren’t long enough and the kitten kept scurrying off,” he told the paper.

Enter the inspection camera operator. An area plumbing outfit was called on and its camera was able to spot the kitten, but the unit was built primarily for residential use. So Morehead City Public Works came in with its system designed for mainline sewers, RapidView IBAK’s Mainline Inspection System, which includes an ORION zoom camera, T66 crawler, 1,000-foot KW305 drum, and BS3.5 controller, all installed in a Ford Transit van.

The kitten eluded capture for a while, but eventually crews used the camera to herd the animal to an open drain, where Bullock was able to grab it. Garner, the one who initially heard the animal’s cries, has been nursing it back to health. She says a large colony of feral cats lives near where the kitten was found.

“I feel this kitten fell into the storm drain and has simply wandered the pipes up to this point,” she said.

Here are a couple other past instances in which an inspection camera has been vital to an animal rescue:

Matt Mertz Plumbing of Wexford, Pennsylvania, featured in the March 2015 issue of Cleaner, used a camera to help save a cat that had crawled into a broken drainline. The incident even brought in new business for the company.

And in Phoenix, Arizona, officials struggled to free a newborn puppy trapped in a drainpipe until a plumbing contractor arrived on scene.



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