Cats stuffed into electrical piping in Piney Flats - WNCN: News, Weather

Cats stuffed into electrical piping in Piney Flats

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PINEY FLATS, TN (WJHL) -

A dramatic rescue unfolded Friday near an area grocery store.

While witnesses held their breath, News Channel 11 cameras rolled.

Shrill cries for help emanated from electrical conduit near the Food City on Highway 11E in Piney Flats.

Store employees investigated and discovered several kittens trapped inside the pipe.

They managed to free three of them, then animal control responded.

The constant screeching of four cats saved their lives.

"As soon as you get anywhere near the pipes you could hear the cats screaming. It was very loud and you could tell they were very scared," said Caty Jenkins, Food City employee.

Sandra Pierce heard the cats' cries as she reported for work at Food City.

"I found them in the pipes, they were really loud," said Pierce.

Pierce and her co-workers sprung into action. They saved three of the trapped kittens, but the cries for help continued.

"They had already got a couple of them out and there was one still stuck in there that they couldn't get out," said Animal Control Officer Andrew Barnett.

So those on the scene got creative. They took wiring and attached a large sponge to the end and used it to push the cat through the pipe to the opening.

"Probably wouldn't have lasted long if we wouldn't have gotten them out today," said Pierce.

Animal control officers believe that was someone's plan.

"There is no way that these cats could playing around these pipes, as high as they are, somebody had to physically, deliberately put them in," said Barnett.

"I don't see how anyone could think that was right," said Jenkins.

Three of the rescued kittens are available for adoption at the Washington County Johnson City Animal Shelter.

The fourth kitten sought shelter under a dumpster. Animal control set up traps to ensure a safe capture.

Animal control officers told me they think a fifth kitten died in the pipe.

Surveillance tape from the store is being reviewed and Washington County Animal Control wants to hear from anyone who may have information about this incident.

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