Some tiny trapped kittens put up a big fuss and made a lot of noise, and that saved their lives when a store’s employees heard them and came to their rescue.
Food City employees in Piney Flats, Tennessee heard persistent cries for help coming from a group of white PVC pipes from the electrical conduit outside the store on Friday and set about trying to save the kittens trapped inside.
“As soon as you get anywhere near the pipes you could hear the cats screaming. It was very loud and you could tell they were very scared,” said Food City employee Caty Jenkins.
Sandra Pierce heard the kittens’ screeching cries as she arrived for work. “I found them in the pipes, they were really loud,” said Pierce.
The store employees rescued three kittens, then turned to Animal Control for another kitten still in need of saving.
“They had already got a couple of them out and there was one still stuck in there that they couldn’t get out,” said Animal Control Officer Andrew Barnett.
The fourth kitten’s rescue required some ingenuity: rescuers placed a large sponge at the end of some thick wiring and used the makeshift implement to push the kitten out from the piping.
“[The kittens] probably wouldn’t have lasted long if we wouldn’t have gotten them out today,” said Pierce.
Animal Control feels the kittens were deliberately placed in the pipes. Officer Barnett said: “There is no way that these cats could playing around these pipes, as high as they are, somebody had to physically, deliberately put them in.”
Three of the kittens were taken to the Washington County Johnson City Animal Shelter where they will be made available for adoption. The fourth kitten got loose and hid under a dumpster, so Animal Control left traps for it.
Animal Control thinks a fifth kitten died in the pipe.
While the store does not have a surveillance camera trained on the dumpster, they are reviewing footage from outside the store to see if the person who pt the kittens in the pipes can be identified. Washington County Animal Control is asking anyone with information on the incident to contact them.