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Cats in storm sewer system causing stir

There are a few more meows sounding from under the streets of downtown Brainerd. For the past week, reports have trickled in to Brainerd City Hall of cats stuck in the storm sewer system along Laurel Street and near the courthouse and police depa...

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The kittens then often get stuck down in the storm sewer system because they don't know how to get out, Animal Control officer Don Hannahs said. That means Hannahs himself will go down to rescue them. It can often be a daily mission. Illustration.

There are a few more meows sounding from under the streets of downtown Brainerd.

For the past week, reports have trickled in to Brainerd City Hall of cats stuck in the storm sewer system along Laurel Street and near the courthouse and police department.

"The cats don't want to leave," said City Engineer Jeff Hulsether. "They're not caught, not stuck. We're not sure if they're lost. All efforts to get them out have not been successful."

Animal Control officer Don Hannahs climbed in the storm sewer system Monday, and every day since, to get the cats out.

 

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He's gotten a couple, but a few still linger in the darkness.

Cats in the storm sewer system is pretty common.

Feral cats use it as their highway system, Hannahs said. It's warmer and safer. House cats can find their way down, too.

"They usually aren't heard, though," he said.

The current situation grew more intense after some residents heard the meows echoing from the sewer drains and dropped cans of cat food down to help out the felines. But that only draws in more cats, Hannahs said.

The kittens then often get stuck down in the storm sewer system because they don't know how to get out, he said.

That means Hannahs himself will go down to rescue them. It can often be a daily mission.

Sometimes the cats get scared and run away.

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Hear a meow coming from the storm sewer system?

Call Animal Control at 218-829-0991.

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In his 22 years in the business, Hannahs has removed about two dozen cats from the storm sewer system.

Hulsether suspects the cats are probably getting into the system via the outfall near the river.

They don't cause any harm to the system, he said.

"A lot of people are saying (the cats) are stuck or stranded," Hulsether said. "That doesn't appear to be the case. They just don't want to leave."

Related Topics: BRAINERD
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