A good Samaritan assisted a Riverside County Animal Control officer after a kitten took refuge inside a drainage pipe at an Indio business Monday morning.
According to Public Information Officer John Welsh, three kittens were in a box near a dumpster nibbling on food near Sav-On-Carpets at 83151 Indio Blvd. An employee at a nearby business moved the box because a trash truck was about to arrive.
The kittens ran away, two in one direction, and the third ran into a drainage pipe connected to the wall near the entrance of Sav-On-Carpets, Welsh said in a release.
Animal Control Officer Kyle Stephens was called to help remove the kitten but he wasn’t able to fit his hand through the pipe. Fortunately, the owner of the business, Sal Flores, was able to wrestle the kitten from the pipe safely.
“He seemed paralyzed at first, as if he was scared out of his mind,” Stephens said. “But I wrapped him up in a towel and dried him off.”
The seven-week-old kitten was taken to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms. Employees at the shelter said he’s very nice and they nicknamed him ‘Genie’.
Welsh said he’s likely a stray kitten and doesn’t have an owner. After a holding period, Genie will be available for adoption.
Flores said he’s a pet owner himself with five cats and two dogs.
“We had quite a little adventure with him,” Flores said. “When I reached inside the drain, I felt his tail and then was able to locate his legs. I nudged him out very gently.”
Meanwhile, Flores said he’s going to keep a lookout for the other two scavengers if they decided to show up at his business again.