Categories: Animal Rescue

Poughkeepsie kitten rescued by plumber after resident was told animal control only responds to dog calls

A kitten in Poughkeepsie, New York is safe after becoming stuck in an underground pipe. While this is a happy ending story, it’s also a story about how differently dogs and cats in need of rescue are treated in this city. As it turns out, animal control in the city only responds to DOG calls. Kittens in need of rescue must depend on Good Samaritans.

Piper following her rescue (TWC News screenshot)

It all started when a resident at a Poughkeepsie apartment complex heard the cries of a kitten in distress. After an unsuccessful rescue attempt was made the resident called Mr. Rooter Plumbing, who immediately sent employee Erik Sickler out to assist.

Piper’s hero (TWC News screenshot)

The kitten, now dubbed Piper, is estimated to have been stuck in the pipe for three days without food or water. First Erik had to place a camera inside the pipe to locate exactly where Piper was. He was then able to dig the pipe up, cut the pipe and rescue the kitten in about an hour and a half. Erik says it was difficult to cut through the pipe with a lot of people watching while at the same time working carefully so as not to harm Piper during her rescue. No one knows how Piper ended up trapped in the pipe except plain old kitten curiosity.

Piper was checked out at Arlington Animal Hospital and is now ready for a forever home through the organization Stray Help, a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit rescue organization that rescues and cares for stray and homeless animals, focusing on trap neuter and release for feral cats while providing humane education to the community. Piper’s four littermates were also rescued from this same area. All are up for adoption through Stray Help.

the pipe (TWC News screenshot)

Stray Help depends on donations to support their organization. To make a donation or view animals available for adoption please visit their website, or call 845-489-2378.

Thank you, Erik. You are little Piper’s hero. As for Poughkeepsie Animal Control, BOO on you for not believing a cat’s life is as valuable as a dog’s.

A video showing more adorable images of Piper, along with her rescuers and her littermates, can be found here.



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Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

View Comments

  • They are the same way here in my town,AC wont respond to any kind of cat issue,dogs only which is part of the huge problem with so many stray's in our town.

  • No one on this platform doesn't know about my hatred for animal control. I have confirmed evidence that their sole mission is to capture and destroy. There is a definite preference for canines however.

    I so applaud Erik, the plumber. Another hero.

    I called a handyman one time to retrieve a 5 week old kitten from under my freezer after my calls to animal control, law enforcement, and fire services failed. I was afraid to try moving the freezer for fear of crushing her.
    He arrived within 30 minutes, tilted it, grabbed her and kissed her, handed her to me, and set the freezer back in place. My cost was $10.

    • I called a roofing company back in the 1990's to retrieve a cat who had been 20 feet up a tree day and night for 4 days. They came right out, got the cat down with a ladder and refused payment. I forced them to take $10 for their trouble.

      • Lessons learned. Call the blue collared workers when in desperate need for a cat. They will be the real "first responders".

  • Animal control is not any better here (Ventura county California). Rude, callous and unprofessional at best, especially concerning cats. They care mostly about pit bull type dogs, which are on average 80% of what they deal with. I don't know where they get their attitude or people from but it's been a plague all across our country.

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