In one of the more extreme examples of how pets and small children can get into some sticky situations together, a toddler in Kansas accidentally flushed a month-old kitten down a toilet earlier this month.
According to the Ford County Fire & EMS in Dodge City, they recently recieved a call to rescue a tiny kitten who was meowing from inside the family's bathroom floor. According to their Facebook post about the incident, "Our hope was to remove the toilet and pull out the cat. No such luck. The kitten had traveled beyond our reach and made a turn in the pipe."
Drastic measures had to be taken to save the life of the kitty, who traveled past the bend of the toilet pipe and beneath the floor. "After a considerable amount of moving dirt [from beneath the bathroom floor], we were able to locate the transverse section of pipe," they explained, and after nearly three hours of efforts (with additional help from local plumbers), the rescuers were able to save the cat.
As reported by local news station WIBW, the tiny orange tabby—who is recovering at home with his family—has since been renamed Miracle. It was a miracle indeed, considering how badly things could have ended.
Cory Smith, the Humane Society's Director of Companion Animal Public Policy, tells petMD that while it was likely nothing more than a bad accident by a curious child, "It is essential for pet parents to teach their children how to properly treat animals, [which] typically comes through modeling behavior and messages about kindness built into every day life."
Most children, Smith says, are loving towards animals, but for any pet parent who wants to ensure they don't have any incidents that could harm their pet (or their child), he recommends the following: "Start at a young age, use the golden rule, create boundaries, and prepare to repeat, repeat, repeat."
If the kitten hadn't been rescued in time it "could have drowned, suffocated, starved, or died from excessive cold or heat. A kitten that size/age does not survive on its own," he added.
The toilet isn't the only hazard in the bathroom pet parents should be aware of. "Most parents are on high alert any time there is a full tub of water, the possibility of slipping on water on the floor or elsewhere, electrical appliances like hair dryers, bottles that can spill or contain chemicals," Smith notes. "Especially with young children, it’s important to supervise interactions with pets, no matter where they occur in the home."
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