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Behind The Badge: Davis County first responders rescue two newborn kittens from catastrophe

Behind the Badge

WOODS CROSS (ABC4 News) – The firefighters and paramedics of the South Davis Metro Fire Department are prepared to handle any call that comes in, but one recent call gave them “paws”.


As in eight tiny paws. It wound up being one of their most memorable, and adorable rescues.


The firemen on duty at Station 85 were a little surprised when dispatch called at 2 a.m. one morning in September after someone reported meowing coming from beneath a street.


“I actually kind of thought it was a joke for a second because of the time frame,” SDMFD Engineer Colton Scharman told Behind The Badge. “I was wondering why people were even out that late.”


A couple out for a late-night stroll along 500 South in Woods Cross had heard the faint cries of newborn kittens and called for help. An officer from the Woods Cross Police Department went into the storm drain to grab one of them.

The other was still another one down in a pipe that was too narrow for the officer wearing bulky gear and a gun belt. Luckily South Davis Metro Fire Captain Steve Duffield volunteered to go in to retrieve the other abandoned and scared kitty.


“I won’t assign anything to my crew that I wouldn’t do myself and those other guys didn’t seem too crazy to do it. I’ll just take this one,” Capt. Duffield said with a laugh. “We tried to reach him with a firefighting tool that we have called a pike pole. We could only get a four foot one down there in the hole. They were farther down the pipe than four feet so we had to come up with some ingenious tactics to get him out.”


Captain Duffield borrowed an officers’ “Slim Jim”, a thin metal wire used for unlocking cars, and went in again.

“Kind of partially made my way down the tunnel ’til I could hook him and drug him back out,” Capt. Duffield said. “They weren’t mobile they were still blind. They were really young… they were dirty. They didn’t look that great.”


But thanks to those officers and these heroes, a “cat”astrophe was avoided and the kittens were safe. As for how the tiny felines wound up in the storm drain, well it appears their mother wasn’t the only one that was littering.


“There’s really only one realistic answer to how they got there,” Capt. Duffield said. “Probably someone put them down there unfortunately.”


“That’s kind of sad and heartbreaking,” Scharman said. “But we were able to get them out so it’s a happy ending.”


Capt. Duffield told ABC4 this wasn’t his first animal rescue. He one kept a wayward moose from wandering onto Interstate 15 and another time helped to pull a stuck horse out of the Jordan River.


As for those kittens, they were adopted by the couple that originally heard their faint little cries.

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