August 22, 2017

Oceana County Animal Friends, left to right, Carol Horness, Tracy Scovill, Jeanie Kelley (holding the rescued kitten), Shannon Harp and Kathie Babbin.




By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — A 6-week-old kitten stuck in a drain pipe for 48 hours just outside of the McDonald’s restaurant by the drive-through was rescued thanks to the dedicated volunteers of Oceana County Animal Friends.

The male kitten is recovering and is expected to be fine following his harrowing ordeal.

“Everyone could hear him crying who went through the drive-through,” said OCAF President Kathie Babbin.

The animal friends worked tirelessly to get the tiny cat out of the pipe, but were not having any success. They feared the kitten would die if he did not get out soon. Finally, as a last ditch effort late Sunday night Aug. 20, Jeanie Kelley used a noose made out of thin rope. After dropping some food down to the cat, she was able to capture him when he stuck his head inside the noose and then pulled him to freedom.

No one is exactly sure how the kitten got into the pipe, but they are thankful he finally escaped unharmed.

Babbin said a litter of kittens was dumped in the area. Another kitten was recovered across the street, and at least one more is missing.

Although the women involved in the rescue say they were not helped by the McDonald’s manager on duty, they said the workers were very helpful.

The kitten has already been adopted and will be going to his new home soon, said Kelley. Meanwhile, OCAF is taking votes on what to name him. Visit www.oceanacountyanimalfriends.wordpress.com and click on “McDonald’s Drain Pipe Kitten” to vote. Choices are Mario, Nugget,

The drain pipe where the kitten was trapped.

Piper, Mickey, Yoda and Litten.

OCAF has existed for decades, and its main goal is rescuing abandoned animals. It began as an effort launched by Tom Lyons and Sylvia Shrauger for spaying and neutering animals, Babbin said.

Fifteen years ago, Babbin took over the organization with the goal of

The kitten right after he was rescued.

saving abandoned animals from being euthanized. “I wanted to save the animals from out of the pound,” she said. She also began a separate wildlife rescue operation 25 years ago.

“We take them if they are sick and get them well,” she said. They also vaccinate and spay/neuter the pets. “It’s an enormous job.”

OCAF has many more cats than dogs that need homes. The organization currently has 50 rescued cats, 25 of which are adoptable, said Babbin. They go through 40-60 pounds of cat litter per day, she said, and 80 pounds of cat food per week.

Cats are $25 to adopt; kittens are $35; and dogs are $75.

“It’s an all-volunteer organization, and we rely 100 percent on donations,” Babbin said. If you are interested in donating, volunteering or adopting, visit their website for more information. You can also find them on Facebook.

“By the grace of God and a lot of hard work, we keep going,” Babbin said.

This story is copyrighted © 2017, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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