Kitten is adopted 95 days after dramatic rescue

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Photo via Animal Rescue League of Iowa at Facebook

A kitten who almost died when she fell 20 feet down an Iowa storm drain in September and was rescued in a two day effort has recovered and grown big enough for adoption, and went to her forever home on Monday.

Stormy was rescued by Polk County Animal Control and the Animal Rescue League of Iowa when she was heard screaming from a deep culvert in Johnston, Iowa last September. After a dramatic rescue, Stormy was taken to the vet and then went into the care of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

On Monday, December 28, 95 days after her rescue, the lucky kitten was adopted by a family who are happy to give her a home.

Catherine Crouse Gagen said adopted Stormy without knowing of her “celebrity,” and wrote at Facebook to say: “We’re glad she’s home with us!”

The shelter gave a recap of Stormy’s rescue on Monday, writing:

THIS JUST IN! Remember Stormy? After 95 days in our care, she was adopted today! In case you missed it, here’s the full story:

We received a call from a Polk County Animal Control Officer to assist with a 6 week old kitten he was trying to rescue from a 20 foot culvert in Johnston. With the morning rain, the water was rising and he wasn’t able to reach the kitten, despite his best efforts. We quickly loaded up with nets and poles and headed out there. The kitten was screaming unlike anything we’ve ever heard before. It was wet, cold, and frightened, and was soon going to be taken away with the storm water if we didn’t rescue it – and fast! But it wouldn’t get close enough to where we could catch it in the net. After many different attempts to coax it near enough, the team devised a plan where someone would dangle into the culvert, while the other 2 held him from falling. The plan worked! He was able to coax the kitten to the edge and caught him in the net at the end of a long pole, just in time.





The team immediately tried to warm the kitten, but its core temperature was too low and it was shaking uncontrollably. The decision was made to rush the kitten to IVRC – Iowa Veterinary Referral Center for specialized help. The kitten was put on fluids and antibiotics as they worked to bring up its temperature. Upon further examination, the kitten also sustained head trauma, most likely from the fall into the culvert.

Thanks to this partnership, the kitten is now safe and back at the ARL where we will be working to rehabilitate it for future adoption. The kitten, a girl, was named “Stormy” by the Polk County Animal Control Officer who began this rescue mission and saw it through to the very end.

KCCI Channel 8 News covered the story of Stormy’s adoption, with a video report you can see HERE.

KCCI spoke with Robyn Dobernecker of ARL, who recalled the rescue and Stormy’s delicate state afterward.

“We thought she was going to perish right there in front of us, and that’s the most horrible feeling. I can’t even explain to you how it feels,” Dobernecker said. “Water gushing down to the drain. She’s screaming. We were trying all kinds of nets and dropping wood down in there to try to give her a way to crawl out.”

“(We experienced) probably every emotion from upset, scared for her, frustration, emotional crying because we didn’t know if we were going to be able to get her out.”

“We realized that she was in trouble, medically, [after she was pulled up to safety] because she was shaking uncontrollably and didn’t’ have very good balance.”

Stormy remained at the emergency vet clinic for several days and continued her recovery with ARL. Fortunately, the head injury noted above did not have a lasting effect on the resilient little kitten, who has now begun the next chapter in her life.





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