"I'm always pretty proud of the work that we all do collectively."
Multiple Penticton agencies and people helped free an injured kitten caught up in the rear axle of a car on Friday.
The Penticton Fire Department worked with Penticton Towing, the SPCA and the South Okanagan Animal Care Centre to free the animal.
Captain Steve Garrett said their crew got a call to investigate after a man was driving down the channel parkway and heard a meowing coming from the back of his car.
"He believed that a cat kind of crawled up into the undercarriage of his car and when he was driving back into town," he added. "He could see its tail hanging out from under the rear axle."
The cat had gotten one of its legs wrapped around the rear axle, with a bunch of the skin and fur pulled off.
"He was really stuck underneath there."
While animal rescues are not technically included in the fire department's scope of work, Garrett said their team had a little bit of time to spare to help and was able to keep their engines available for other calls.
"So they called us and we happened to be doing some auto extrication training at the time as well. So it worked out well for us because we used some of our airbags to lift the car just so we could get underneath it and have a little bit better look," Garrett said.
"We couldn't free him. So we ended up calling animal control and they came down, had a look and they also contacted a vet."
Penticton Towing Driver Manager Brandon King said he got the dispatch out from the fire department to come down and assist with the rescue.
"At first, no one really knew what to do. It was kind of an assessment of where do we go from here because there was no easy solution to get this thing out," he said.
"We made the determination that the first thing we need to do is get this cat sleeping. So it can relax and stop resisting."
From there a local veterinarian came out and volunteered their time to sedate the cat so the team could disassemble the car.
"It was in a lot of distress and was trying to attack everything that was coming near it," Garrett said.
"They got the cat to sleep and it was just a lot of thinking that had to go into this to get this cat out delicately and alive," King added. "I had to take some parts off, the drive shaft out and just very gently remove some parts and unwind this poor cat from the rear CV axle because he was tangled up on it with his back leg so it was just a very sort of delicate process," King added.
The cat was taken away for treatment and is reportedly doing well, with no broken bones or internal injuries.
"It worked out well, the fellow whose car it was very patient with us because it probably took a couple of hours of back and forth and getting the vet to come down and the rest," Garrett said.
Assistant Chief Rob Trupp added that it was a great effort by all involved.
King said their team works with the fire department constantly, and it's always a team effort.
"They're always there to help us out and back us up, in terms of traffic control, so we don't get run over and vice versa. So whatever we can do to help them as well, right? We try to just always be there for each other."