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Kitten gets new lease on life after firefighters rescue her from sewer

New Haven Register 8/9/2018 By Ben Lambert

HAMDEN — Local residents banded together to improve a kitten’s lot in life this week, delivering her from peril into care and comfort.

Carey Dadio, treasurer and volunteer with the Halfway Home Shelter in North Haven, said the Hamden Fire Department responded to a local business after an employee heard a kitten’s mews for help from the sewer.

The grate was stuck when crews arrived, but firefighters were not to be deterred — they tried a variety of measures, including hitting it with a mallet and using the jaws of life, before a tow truck was called to remove the obstacle.

Firefighter Brian Gagnon went down into the sewer and came up with the kitten, delivering her to Dadio.

Dadio thanked members of the fire department, particularly Batallion Chief Gary Couture, for taking the time and expending the effort to help the kitten. Couture regularly has helped the shelter aid animals in need, she said.

“Bri” the kitten, seen after she was rescued by Hamden firefighters and delivered into the care of Halfway Home Shelter. © Contributed Photo “Bri” the kitten, seen after she was rescued by Hamden firefighters and delivered into the care of Halfway Home Shelter.

“I can’t say enough about the fire department,” said Dadio. “These guys were all amazing. ... They’re fantastic to animals.”

Gagnon stressed that rescuing the kitten was a team effort, which included a number of firefighters, police, and other members of the community.

“It was absolutely a group effort,” said Gagnon. “I’m really glad the fire department could be helpful.”

Dadio said the Halfway House Shelter has been working to aid neglected and abused animals for more than 15 years, so helping the kitten was business as usual.

The community has also lent a hand, donating $1,000 through a Facebook fundraiser to help out the kitten.

Any additional funds raised will go into the shelter’s emergency medical fund, where it will go to help the next animal in need of assistance, Dadio said. The shelter, staffed entirely by volunteers, helps approximately 600 to 700 animals a year, she said.

The kitten has a damaged leg, which was either injured or deformed from birth and may need to be amputated, Dadio said.

But her future is bright. She’s now receiving care and eating food and taking fluids, Dadio said.

“She’s on the mend,” said Dadio. “She’ll be big and fluffy and we’ll adopt her out.”

And, in addition to a new lease on life, the kitten will carry a token of her rescue into the future, Dadio said.

She’s been named “Bri,” after the firefighter who rescued her, Brian Gagnon.

“I think that’s wonderful,” Gagnon said with a laugh.

He wished his namesake well, hoping she receives the same kind of care he has in his life.

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