VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — You hear the sounds of meows around a Town Center drain. It’s crews using that noise trying to get an orange kitten out of a storm drain.
“The outcome is usually not good. The main thing is to get him before it rains because it is a storm drain,” said Emilie Jackson, Billy the Kidden Rescue president and CFO.
Jackson said the cat was spotted near Nando’s about a week ago.
“It’s not far off from when we got all the rain,” she said. “I think he went in the storm drain from the street.”
Since hearing this news, Jackson and others have spent days trying to lure the kitten out.
“I’ve taken four ladders and connected them to try to get the kitten,” Jackson said. “He can’t get up the incline. We have an underground sewer line camera. We have purchased probably 10 different styles of nets.”
Unfortunately, there has been no luck, but just a few sightings.
The rescue reached out for help.
“The plumbers don’t want to come to the property because it’s city property,” she said. “We were told to call animal control. They aren’t going to come unless the animal is contained.”
10 On Your Side reached out to the city of Virginia Beach about how they are handling this situation.
A spokesperson told our Lauryn Moss:
The Virginia Beach Police Department’s Animal Services Bureau and the Public Works Department have been attempting to locate and rescue the cat in question, however it has evaded capture thus far. In addition, a local animal rescue organization has set and baited two humane traps in an effort to catch the feline. It’s likely a feral cat that has found a place it considers safe and comfortable, but is skittish around people which is not unusual behavior. The cat does appear to be well-fed and in good health.
The Animal Services Bureau will continue to monitor the situation, however forcing the animal out may do more harm than good. For now, the humane trapping method being used by the animal rescue organization is the safest and least-stressful way forward for the cat. Public Works would also like to remind members of the public not to attempt to enter any storm drains on their own as they could be injured or stuck in a confined, underground space.
Please know that the City takes the lives of animals in Virginia Beach seriously and we are committed to providing the necessary services to protect and care for them. The community’s concerns are appreciated and we thank everyone who came forward for this concerted effort.— Bryan Clark, Virginia Beach media and communications coordinator
Jackson said she doesn’t think this is the home the cat was looking for.
“The kitten is trapped. The kitten has no exit hole because the drains go down four feet, so there is an elbow. He can’t get out. He’s stuck. There is not a feral colony in that,” she said. “He’s a kitten. He’s not feral. He just doesn’t know what a human is yet.”
Jackson said knowing the cat is trapped is what’s keeping the crew going.
“We see him every day and it’s heart-wrenching. That’s why we aren’t giving up,” she said.
With time ticking, she is asking for help.
“We want people,” Jackson said. “We want help.”
She is trying to find any resources that can get the “Town Center Baby” out.
“The next few days are scary,” Jackson said. “Time is of the essence.”