ROUND ROCK, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - The family of a Round Rock police sergeant has grown following an unexpected rescue last weekend.
Round Rock police and fire pulled kittens from a storm drain recently. The sergeant on scene chose to take them home temporarily and nurse them back to health.
In Round Rock it's common for officers to be called out to check on the welfare of animals. This time it ended a little bit differently than other calls as Sergeant Jack Johnson said he's never taken an animal he's helped home with him.
It was a call for help you could hear well before you could see it.
“As soon as you pulled up and got out of the vehicle it was obvious. I don't know kitty language but it was absolutely a cry for help,” said Johnson.
The three kittens ended up in a storm drain near the movie theater by the outlets in Round Rock.
“Heard the crying from the gutter below,” said Johnson.
How they ended up there is still a mystery.
“I don't know if the mother cat might have left them there and abandoned or, ya know, there's always a possibility that somebody placed them there, we'll never know,” said Johnson.
Freeing the fury felines was no easy task. Both police and fire worked together to finally get them out.
“They actually pulled the manhole cover off and squeezed down inside and physically crawled in and handed each one out,” said Johnson.
Based on their condition Johnson said he's not sure how much longer they would have lasted down there.
“They were probably hungry and cold for sure, I'm not sure how long they were there or what the chances of them surviving would be if I hadn't gotten them but they were happy for the ride home in the heater for sure,” he said.
Once out of the drain the question of what they should do with them came up.
“We all gave them a second chance and that's what they deserved,” said Johnson.
Johnson volunteered to take all three home until they got back to full health.
“We had to get a quick lesson from the internet on how to be a foster parent for these kitties,” said Johnson.
All the costs for nursing these kittens are coming out of his own pocket.
“You get special milk and bottles and, ya know, special wipes for them and different things so there's a little bit to take on,” he said.
While this move was supposed to be temporary, the kittens are starting to grow on him.
“As most pet lovers understand you get attached to them to a point. I can't say that I’ll keep all three but I bet one will find a place here at my house.”
For now, Johnson said his free time will be filled helping these little kittens get back on their feet.
Once the kittens are back at 100 percent he plans to find the other two kittens a home. He prefers to find someone close so the kitten siblings won’t be too far from each other.