SmART Team Rescues Kitten From Dangerous LA River Storm Drain

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AJ after the rescue

We’ve featured several great rescue videos made by LA’s  SmART (Small Animal Rescue Team) squad in the past. On Sunday the team made another dramatic rescue and saved a kitten from near-certain drowning; it was trapped in a drain that was sure to fill higher with water the following day as rains came. This rescue was intensive and dramatic but did not result in one of the team’s superb videos. The team’s helmet cams ran out of juice before they reached the kitten, and a new camera was not working right.  They got  a few photos and told the story, and there’s a brief video clip from the scene, so we can share it with you here.

Sarah Strazi noticed a frightened kitten in a concrete LA River storm drain as water rushed through the scetion of drain behind LA Valley College on Sunday. She called 911 and the highly trained Smart team arrived on the scene. For those who may not know, the team is made up of animal control officers and vet techs, and all are well trained in rescue operations. The rescue involved rappelling into the drain to effect the rescue, and the operation took nearly three hours.

The kitten, who is being called AJ, was saved, and taken to East Valley Animal Shelter. Potential adopters have expressed interest, and AJ the kitty will be guaranteed a home

Team member Armando Navarrete said the kitten was in imminent danger. “The pipes have debris and the kitten could only go a little ways into the pipe. There’s no way out. With the rain coming tomorrow all that was needed was six inches of water to drown the kitten,”

The team has made many small animal rescues from the LA River, mostly cats and squirrels. The crack team is part of LA Animal Services.

In addition to viewing their team page on LA animal Services’ website, you can visit the Small Animal Rescue Team Los Angeles Facebook page.

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3 thoughts on “SmART Team Rescues Kitten From Dangerous LA River Storm Drain”

  1. I’m glad the kitten is alright and out of harm’s way. It looks a lot like a cat named Toonces that I had for 17 years when he was a kitten.

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