Sunday, 09 March 2014 18:33

Cat Saved From Highway 91 in Riverside; Riv Co Animal Services Teams Up with CHP

Just a short blurb about a nice rescue today along the bustlin' 91 in Riverside.

We had been getting calls from frantic motorists driving along Highway 91 since Thursday morning. The calls were about a black cat on the freeway, resting along a center divider. Each time an animal control officer rolled out, however, the cat could not be located. We think we now know why.

Riverside County Animal Services officers Tiffany Fuller and Jenny Selter, along with an additional colleague doing an educational ride along, managed to locate the feline today (March 8) just before noon. Officer Selter plucked the pussycat off the center divider, near a concrete column underneath the Van Buren Boulevard bridge.

The rescue completed the Elusive Freeway Cat Saga for Riverside County Animal Services that had started three days ago.

"Part of the trouble was, we had been getting calls in the morning during rush hours, so we think the slow-moving motorists had better views of the cat," Officer Tiffany Fuller said. "When we were able to roll out to try to find the cat, speeds had picked up and we couldn't see the black cat in the dark shadows underneath the Van Buren Boulevard bridge."

Officer Selter had the extra set of eyeballs from her colleague, Craig Wellmerling, the county's new mobile spay & neuter bus driver. He was doing an educational ride along and assisted Selter in the dramatic rescue. Selter and Wellmerling got out of their truck and rushed over to the seemingly calm kitty. Selter used a net to make sure the cat wouldn't bolt and Wellmerling was right behind her with a cage so Selter could gently place her inside.

The officers said today's rescue could not have happened without the excellent help by two California Highway Patrol officers. The CHP officers conducted a traffic break, giving the animal control officers a good opportunity to safely get the cat out of her precarious position.

"We have no idea how she got there," Fuller said. "But we're thinking she was sure smart enough not to leave that spot once she got there."

Registered Veterinary Technician Tonya Ornelas examined the cat and treated her with fluids. She said she believed the cat might have been somewhat dehydrated. But the cat is doing very well now, despite her stressful ordeal.

And the best news of all? She's an absolute sweetie pie.

The domestic-short-haried cat is 3 years old.

Her new nickname, for now, is "Vanity," a play on words because of where she was found (underneath the Van Buren Boulevard overpass -- and that she was quite vain to sit there, similar to a queen on a throne, waiting for her rescue to transpire).

If an owner does not come to redeem Vanity, we'll be sure to find her a new family or we will transfer her to one of our rescue-group partner organizations.

We've attached a couple photos. Officer Fuller took them, if you would like to give her credit. Or you can just say, if you need a credit line: Courtesy Riverside County Animal Services

Thanks for reading!


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