Roseville firefighters rescue kittens from drowning

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 8, 2019

 Deputy Anthony Centofanti, of Macomb County Animal Control, holds up  a kitten  rescued from drowning  during the rainstorms that came through Roseville in early September.

Deputy Anthony Centofanti, of Macomb County Animal Control, holds up a kitten rescued from drowning during the rainstorms that came through Roseville in early September.

Photo provided by Delaina Goodloe


ROSEVILLE — Five kittens are safe after the quick thinking of some Roseville residents and the actions of the Roseville Fire Department.

Following a heavy rain, neighbors heard distressed meowing coming from under the wheelchair ramp of Roseville resident Delaina Goodloe on Flora Street. The community had recently received some heavy rain, and they discovered six kittens in danger of drowning. They alerted Goodloe and together contacted the authorities.

“We recently had a severe downpour, which resulted in a couple of inches of rain in a very short matter of time,” Goodloe recalled. “Unbeknownst to us, a cat had kittens under a wheelchair ramp attached to our building. There was at least 3 inches of water that the kittens were in, and we couldn’t reach them. It was obvious they were drowning. We immediately called (the) Roseville Fire Department.”

Firefighters rushed over to the scene to help the beleaguered creatures.

“It happened Sept. 2 at about 6:20 p.m,” Roseville Fire Chief Mike Holland said. “We sent Unit 3 over, and (the residents) tried to get the sides of the ramp off, but couldn’t, so they called us. We pulled the top boards off and pulled out six kittens.”

The residents watched as the first responders set about saving the animals.

“It was apparent the ramp had to be torn apart to reach the kittens, which they did immediately,” Goodloe said. “The kittens were in distress. They provided oxygen and even CPR on some of them. They saved five out of the six.”

The Fire Department has specialized medical equipment for animals.

“When we pulled them out, we have animal oxygen masks, and we used our small animal oxygen masks to help them. We dried them off and warmed them up to make sure they were safe,” Holland said. “They were very young kittens. They obviously couldn’t get out of there on their own. Obviously, our first goal is to make sure everybody stays safe. We put the boards back and so forth. We know animals aren’t just property — they can be family — so we did all we could to help the animals. … The kittens all would have drowned if these neighbors didn’t call 911.”

While rescuing animals isn’t something a firefighter is usually called on to do, it is something they are trained for.

“Part of firefighter training includes rescuing animals,” Holland explained. “For us, we try not to make a habit of pulling cats out of trees, but if someone has an animal in danger, we try to make sure we are available to be on hand to help. Most of us have pets of our own, so we try to do what we can.”

The Roseville Fire Department contacted Macomb County Animal Control, which aided in the rescue of the kittens and took possession of them. Jeff Randazzo, chief of Macomb County Animal Control, said the kittens are now doing well and are on their way to getting new homes.

“Those kittens got medical attention and are now in foster care,” he explained. “They will be put up for adoption after being sterilized and vaccinated and so forth.”

He expressed his gratitude and thanks for everyone who pulled together to save the kittens.

“Thank God everyone came together to help them. This was almost a sad story, but it has a happy ending,” Randazzo said. “I’m glad people called and supported both us and the animals in their community.”

Call Staff Writer Brendan Losinski at (586) 498-1068.