Cat rescued from Fort Dodge storm drain

A wayward kitty was plucked from the dark depths of a Fort Dodge storm drain Thursday night.

The cat rescue effort at 15th Avenue South and 28th Street involved the Fort Dodge Public Works Department, city police and Webster County Animal Protection.

Doug Barkema, operations superintendent of the Public Works Department, said he was notified of the problem at about 8:30 p.m.

”Some young kids called it in,” he said. ”They heard the cat and they were scared for it. They were afraid the rain would come and it would drown.”

Dispatchers at the Webster County Law Enforcement Center contacted Barkema, who sent Jon Peterson, a worker in the department’s Streets Division, to the scene.

Peterson hit the grate covering the storm drain with a sledge hammer to get it loose. After he removed the grate, an animal control officer from Webster County Animal Protection went down into the drain and retrieved the cat.

Then Peterson descended into the drain to make sure there were no kittens down there also. No kittens were found.

The cat was taken to the Almost Home animal shelter.

”The cat’s in good shape,” Barkema said. ”It seemed like the kids were happy, too.”

He said Public Works crews have retrieved phones, keys and rings from storm drains, but Thursday night was the first time they helped to get a live animal out of one.

”We serve the public,” he said. ”We do what we can to help.”


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