Screams from a Storm Drain

This morning started out calmly enough. A brisk walk with the dog in the hills of Hollywood. Then we came upon a storm drain. The dog went crazy sniffing and suddenly I heard screams. High pitched loud ones coming from the storm drain. I yelled down that I would get help. The moaning stopped. I tried to make contact. Silence. Was it a baby? A woman couldn’t fit down there. A small dog? A cat?

I ran home and dialed 911 and explained the situation to the fire department. To their immense credit, they were there in 15 minutes. They pried the manhole off the storm drain, and we heard the screams again. Much more woefully. They insisted it was an animal. They couldn’t risk going down and perhaps injuring themselves if it was a wild animal. “this happens all the time”.

I went home and called animal control. They listened and said they would try and get a field officer out there, no guarantee. An hour later, I got a call asking me to go out to the area, a couple of blocks away and show the officer where the animal was crying.

I left my house… but there was no animal control officer anywhere! I waited and waited. The cries continued. Hours had gone by.
Later, I ran into a neighbor and they told me that an animal control truck had circled the area but hadn’t stopped.
The screaming has stopped, no sound is coming out of the drain seven hours later. Perhaps the animal got loose and is okay. More likely, it gave up and died. Really hard to not be able to help.

9 Replies to “Screams from a Storm Drain”

  1. Good job by you in trying to effect a rescue. Does the drain have some kind of grate covering the hole? If not, wouldn’t that avoid this type of situation probably 9 times out of 10?

  2. No grate. Yes, a grate would avoid this type of drama… but alas, it’s probably not going to happen by the city. With all the budget difficulties.
    I suppose I could take some heavy screening and try and attach it…..

  3. Tammara, bravo. You did infinitely more than most people would have. I’m sorry your efforts couldn’t have been rewarded with a happier resolution. Here’s hoping the critter was able to get out on its own.

  4. Reminds of the time I heard moaning from the balcony of our Hollywood Hills home. Sounded exactly like it would if a man had fallen while hiking, and was in pain. I called ‘911’, and when the officers responded they said it was very likely just a deer (mating season, or…?) He sounded like he knew what he was talking about, so I relaxed and went back to bed…

  5. Hahaha. Nice try getting animal regs out there. They have very few officers to cover the entire city of L.A. Even PD usually is left waiting.

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