Cat in downspout at Donnell School

FINDLAY SUPERINTENDENT Dean Wittwer, left, and Hancock County dog warden Dana Berger discuss how a cat got into this downspout at Donnell Middle School, and how to get it out Thursday. A hole was cut in the pipe, but officials couldn’t get the animal to come out, so a safe trap was set. (Photo by Randy Roberts)

FINDLAY SUPERINTENDENT Dean Wittwer, left, and Hancock County dog warden Dana Berger discuss how a cat got into this downspout at Donnell Middle School, and how to get it out Thursday. A hole was cut in the pipe, but officials couldn’t get the animal to come out, so a safe trap was set. (Photo by Randy Roberts)

By MAX FILBY
STAFF WRITER
When Susan Orians called for her cat to come in Wednesday night, she heard an unexpected meow.
“I knew it wasn’t mine,” Orians said. “My cat has a really girly meow and this one was much bigger and deeper.”
The meow came from Donnell Middle School, across the street from Orians’ house, where a cat was in a downspout attached to the building. Orians called the school’s principal, Findlay police and animal control.
Dana Berger, Hancock County dog warden, and school Principal Don Williams went out Wednesday night to take a look, but officials didn’t try to free the cat until Thursday.
“It was awful. My daughter and I were miserable the whole night,” Orians said.
On Thursday, officials cut a hole in the pipe to free the cat, but couldn’t get the animal to come out, Berger said. Instead, Berger fed the cat tuna and set a safe trap with tuna in the drainage system’s basin to lure the cat out.
“This is not uncommon,” Berger said. “It’s probably a stray that went in there to stay warm, and it probably got turned around and doesn’t know where it’s at.”
Principal Williams, Superintendent Dean Wittwer and Assistant Superintendent Craig Kupferberg were also outside the school Thursday, trying to figure out how the cat got trapped in the downspout and how to get it out.
School officials called the situation “strange” and said they had never had to deal with an incident like it before.
Wittwer said he thought the cat may have come in through a sewer on Baldwin Avenue in front of the school sometime Sunday, and may have gotten trapped when snowfall hit the area that night.
“There’s a chance that when we get this opened up it may not even want to come out,” Wittwer correctly predicted.
Wittwer and Williams will be checking the safe trap this morning to see if the cat can be removed from the drainage system.
Once removed, the cat will be taken to the Hancock County Humane Society on Ohio 12 in Findlay, Berger said.
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