Hartford Police Receive PETA Award for Rescuing Kitten Trapped in Storm Drain

First Responder Plunges 20 Feet Underground to Snatch Up 'Quacking' Cat

For Immediate Release:
June 9, 2015

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Hartford, Conn. – A Compassionate Police Department Award is on its way from PETA to the Hartford Police Department in recognition of its rescue of a small kitten who, as a neighbor reported, was swept down a storm drain during heavy rain on June 1. Assisted by a team of officers and the MDC water company, Officer Holly Donahue geared up in a protective suit and descended about 20 feet into the sewer to retrieve the crying kitten. The cat was rushed to a veterinary clinic, where she was treated for a minor respiratory infection that caused her meows to sound like quacks—which inspired the veterinarian to name her Duckling.

The police department will receive a framed certificate and a box of delicious vegan cookies from PETA—and Duckling, who is expected to make a full recovery, will soon find a home with one of the many people who have offered to adopt her. As Officer Donahue said, “Maybe more people can go out and adopt an animal—that would be the best part of this.”

“The story of this little kitten, terrified and alone at the bottom of a sewer, will have a happy ending, all thanks to the kindness and determination of Hartford’s police officers,” says PETA Senior Director Colleen O’Brien. “PETA encourages caring people everywhere to take this story as inspiration to come to the aid of animals in need.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—also reminds all cat guardians that the safest place for their companions is indoors. Cats who are allowed to roam outdoors may catch diseases such as feline AIDS, be hit by cars, or even be hurt by cruel people. All animal companions, including cats, can and should be escorted outdoors on a leash and a safe, secure harness.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind