Kitten finds a home with his rescuer

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By Karen Harrison Binette

CARRIE MILLER PHOTOLindsey Parks, 9, holding Willy with sisters Rachel, 12, (left) and Sarah, 14, at the North Fork Animal Welfare League’s Southold shelter on Wednesday afternoon.

Willy poses at the shelter with Lindsey, Rachel and Sarah Parks before heading to his new home.
Photo, Carrie Miller


Willy was rescued at the end of September  in a 16 hour operation to free him from a drainage system below ground. This week, the now-14 weeks old kitten went home with one of his rescuers.

Willy was trapped near a building in Southold, New York, on Long Island, and he was freed in a joint effort by volunteers from the North Fork Animal Welfare League, Coastline Cesspool & Drain Service, owned by Will Parks, and North Fork Sanitation. The rescue was initiated after Southold Town police called NFAWL about the trapped kitten. NFAWL operates the Southold Animal Shelter.

Willy was discovered trapped in a 20-foot-long storm water pipe buried about three feet underground, after falling into a hole near the back of the Southold 7-Eleven on Sept. 29. With rains coming, it was imperative that he be saved from drowning while trapped underground.

NFAWL director Gillian Wood Pultz called in Will Parks, who was out on a job installing a septic system.

“I kind of put that to bed real quick, got my guys together and we convened over there,” Will said. “He’s a living thing. I don’t think anyone would let a living thing go like that. I said, ‘If we’ve got the technology to do it, let’s give it a try.’ He was basically a little clog in the pipe and we had to get him out.”

The rescue team was able to pinpoint the kitten’s whereabouts using a special camera from the septic system business, and after a lot of effort and digging, the kitten was freed and taken to the Southold Animal Shelter, which is operated by NFAWL.

Kitty was dirty and very wary of people, but he quickly warmed up to his rescuers and to visitors who gave him cuddles. He was named Willy after his rescuer.

NFAWL was very pleased to report this week that Will Parks and his family have adopted Willy and taken him home.

“It was because of my three kids. My youngest, Lindsey, wanted a cat in the worst way,” Will said. “Then Willy came along and I think it seems it was just meant to be.”

“I’ve noticed there’s been a lot of shopping going on, getting toys and things ready for him,” Mr. Parks told The Suffolk Times..

“He is just really sweet. It took him about a week to warm up and now he purrs every time you touch him,” said Gabby Glantzman of NFAWL . “We knew within a day or so he was doing well. He was also eating well.”

Willy was netered before his adoption, and he left the shelter for his new home on Wednesday.

“It’s wonderful,” NFAWL’s Gabrielle Stroup told Southold Local . “We were hoping that’s the way it was going to happen.”

She continued, saying [Will] “called the day after [the rescue] and asked what he would have to do to adopt the kitten. He was under a lot of pressure from his girls.”

Photos from the rescue and with Willy recuperating at the shelter via The North Fork Animal Welfare League, Inc/Southold Animal Shelter at Facebook. You can see more photos from the rescue at the page.


Willy right after his rescue, his fur still speckled with dirt


At the beginning of the rescue effort, volunteers hoped the kitty wold come out for food, and placed a blanket in the drainpipe for him to climb. The rescue wold not be so simple, though.


Getting ready to dig


The underground camera finds Willy!


Cleaned up after the rescue and beginning to settle in at the shelter.


A few days after his rescue, Willy is “getting more used to people everyday,” say shelter staff.


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