Plumbers & Pipefitters 562, Laborers 110 members rescue kitten from drain pipe

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UNION MEMBERS TO THE RESCUE: Operating Engineers Local 513 member Tim Hovis (on the mini-excavator), Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562 member Chad Beckmann (middle) and Laborers’ Local 110 member Bill Thaxton work to rescue a kitten who had fallen into a drain pipe at Barnes Jewish Hospital. – Cushman & Wakefield photo

By SHERI GASSAWAY

Correspondent

It began like any other day for Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562 members Alan Glosemeyer and Chad Beckmann and Laborers’ Local 110 member Bill Thaxton, but it certainly didn’t end that way.

That’s because the three union members received a call for service from Barnes-Jewish Hospital about a problem relating to a storm drain. It wasn’t your typical plumbing problem.

SAFE AND SOUND: The six-week-old kitten was taken to the Animal Protective Association of Missouri where she was found to be hungry, but healthy. - Cushman & Wakefield photo

“They called and asked me to run a camera into the drain because someone in the building thought they heard a cat in there,” Glosemeyer said. “I’ve been in the business for 25 years, and that kind of call was a first for me.”

Glosemeyer was able to locate what turned out to be a six-week-old kitten in the drain. But by the next day, the kitten had crawled further into the pipe. Beckman went back out to the site with his camera and determined that the only way to rescue the cat was to dig up the pipe and cut it.

After much work, Thaxton and Beckmann were eventually able to coax the frightened kitten out.

“It was certainly an unusual call, and I’ve been doing this for 17 years,” Beckmann said. “Bill and I had to put a hose down the drain to flush the kitten out because she kept moving.”

The kitten was taken to the Animal Protective Association of Missouri for a checkup, and other than being hungry, she was found to be in good health. One of the BJC employees who took the kitten to the vet is planning to adopt her.

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