In one North Texas town, it's a race against the clock. A rescue mission started last week when emergency crews were called to a storm drain, and it's captured the attention of the entire town of Double Oak.
On Monday morning, a public utility crew from neighboring Flower Mound responded to a call it certainly isn't used to. With an underground camera, workers searched the storm drain outside Double Oak Veterinary Medicine Center looking for thee small kittens believed to be living there.
"They only usually cry when mama's gone," said Dr. William Wood, who runs the clinic. "We actually saw her this morning."
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A worker noticed the feral cat a few weeks ago, and last week clinic employees realized she was the mother of small kittens. Efforts to lure them out were unsuccessful. Over the weekend, those efforts grew to include a plumber, police, firefighters and others.
Monday morning, those efforts grew further.
"We're going to try to save the babies as best we can," Wood said. "We got to get them out before Wednesday arrives and the rains come."
A forecast which calls for mid-week rain has folks worried about the kittens' survival.
"If it rains, they're going to be flooded out and they're going to drown,” said Haley Acord, a kennel technician who's been part of the search since the first day, and has even searched the storm sewer below.
Despite the use of underground cameras, utility crews didn't locate the kittens. It didn't stop the search -- or the race against the clock.
"There's a lot of people who come to us and say it's the circle of life, why would we save these kittens?" Acord said. "We're all animal lovers and if God is on our side, we'll get 'em."