Bluffton police officers and firefighters helped rescue a little black kitten from a drain Tuesday afternoon, likely saving its life, according to one rescuer.
The kitten was crossing Plantation Park Drive but clearly couldn't see where it was going very well, according to Rachael Rymal who was there to see the rescue. Unfortunately, he fell into a drain just before he reached the other side of the road, she said.
Rymal, a co-worker and some other people nearby tried to fish the kitten out, with no luck, she said. They flagged down a Bluffton Police Department officer who called in more help. Officer Jason Rodriguez didn't hesitate to hop down into the drain himself, trying to reach the kitten.
Bluffton Township Fire District came, as well. They filled part of a smaller hose and were able to nudge the kitten in the culvert pipe over to a spot where they could pull it out safely, according to district spokesman Capt. Lee Levesque.
Someone from the nearby Ultimate Car Wash brought over a ladder to help rescuers get down into the drain and a towel to wrap him in, Rymal said.
The kitten went home with Heather Kolarcik, the veterinary assistant for Hilton Head Humane Association, who was going to nurse him back to health until he could be adopted, she said. The man who first saw the kitten run across the street is hoping to adopt him as soon as he's old enough.
For now, he has a full belly, some ointment on his eyes, no fever and is sleeping soundly.
"It was an amazing thing to be a part of," Kolarcik said, noting the kitten likely would have died if these Bluffton rescuers hadn't jumped in and joined the effort.