Makeshift trap devised to pull animals out

A litter of kittens and their mother will be up for adoption soon at the Humane Society of Del Norte after volunteers rescued two of the babies from a drain on 5th Street between C and D streets.

Volunteers fished the last kitten out of the drain Friday. The kittens are roughly two to three weeks old, said Eileen Bennett, assistant shelter manager and board secretary.

Bennett speculated that the mother took up residence in some bushes near 5th Street, and as her kittens were wandering around the area, one fell through a grate leading to a storm drain. A passerby notified the Humane Society, but by the time volunteers arrived another kitten had fallen into the drain, Bennett said.

"We went ahead and trapped Momma and the little baby that didn't fall in," she said. "We got one baby out yesterday and one baby today out of the drainage area."

Getting the kittens to a place that would allow volunteers to catch them proved difficult. Bennett said the drain went about 4andfrac12; feet down. Her smallest trap wouldn't fit and every time a volunteer tried to reach in to grab a kitten, the little guy fled into an eight-inch pipe.

"A little kid was willing to go headfirst down the hole and reach the kitty and that didn't even work," she said. "We had to do a makeshift trap. It was pretty amazing. I'm still reeling."

The second kitten to be rescued was reunited with its mother and taken to the animal shelter. Bennett said "Momma" is semi-feral, so if she is not able to be socialized enough, the Humane Society will likely adopt her as a shelter cat. The entire family will be spayed or neutered, receive vaccines and be treated for worms and ear mites, Bennett said.

"The kittens will be up for adoption," she said, adding that they probably won't be available for another five and a half weeks. "But we really feel that (the mother) is going to remain feral. If she does, we are going to keep her here. She'll be an outdoor shelter kitty so she can come and go as she wants to."

Reach Jessica Cejnar at