File photo of the Kimberley Search and Rescue team from June 2018.

Search and rescue save a cat following a flood in the Creston area

A rescue raft was used to save the cat after regional floods knock out a bridge

Marooned alone for days in a house cut off by floodwaters, Squash the cat is back in the arms of his owners, thanks to the Kimberley Search and Rescue team.

Kimberley Search and Rescue received a call that a surge of water on Dodds Creek from recent storms had taken out a small bridge connecting a property to the main road. Squash was in dire need to be saved, and the torrents of the creek had to be crossed.

“Being a team of animal lovers, we decided to help out because we did not want the owner of the house to risk his life trying to access his property, and we did not want the cat to be left alone and possibly run out of food and water. We hatched a plan and put it into action,” search manager Peter Reid said.

“For most people, a pet is part of their family, and for this person, I am pretty sure there was a little girl that was desperate to be reunited with her cat.”

The operation involved eight members; a combination of swift water members, some support people and a commander. One of the members had volunteered with the Canadian Disaster Animal Rescue Team, so he was trained in animal rescue. Two members stopped at the grocery store to buy Temptations cat treats for the kitty.

The rescuers decided it wasn’t safe to try to cross the log jam, or walk across the creek, so three of them piled into a rescue raft.

“Our reward is the thanks from the people we help, and in this case, I treated the team to Dairy Queen for the drive back to Kimberley.”

“I want to emphasize that creeks during this time of year are very dangerous, this one in particular because of a large log jam near our access point. It may look easy to do, but the creek was running extremely fast, was undercutting its banks, and anyone falling in without proper equipment and downstream containment could easily be killed.”

“Squash the cat was happy to see the rescuers, he crossed the swollen creek in a pet carrier and was reunited with his grateful owner.”

READ MORE: Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

READ MORE: Why the RDCK ordered hundreds of properties evacuated

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