Firefighter Saves Kitten that Fell Off Stono River Bridge
Just a few weeks ago Charleston Fire Department received a call for help from Charleston County Animal Services. Fire Engine CFD E113 was asked to assist with the rescue of a tiny kitten from the marsh beneath the Stono River Bridge.
Searching for Hope
The 1.7-lb. black kitten had fallen 25 feet off the Stono Bridge into the marsh below. Still unsure if the kitten had survived the traumatic fall, the firefighters searched the marsh with binoculars from the bridge. For 45 minutes their eyes were glued to the water, hoping for any sign of movement. Just when they were about to call off the search, they saw the slightest turn of the tiny kitten’s head. Even after the terrifying fall, she managed to swim to a patch of tall grass 150 feet from the bridge.
Charleston Firefighter, Joseph Northup II, recalled the moment of hope seeing this little kitten was alive, “The members of my crew and I love animals, so once we were able to confirm that the kitten had survived the fall, we were determined to rescue her.” Safely traversing a marsh with thick grass requires specific equipment, so the Charleston County Rescue Squad was requested to assist with their Airboat. Northup and his team guided the Charleston County Rescue Squad to the exact location of the tiny kitten and, together, they completed a successful rescue mission.
A New Start
Northup transferred the terrified 8-week-old kitten to Charleston Animal Society where she could be examined by our expert veterinary team. He affectionately named her Stono after the bridge where he found her. Thankfully, the only injuries Stono endured were small scratches on her legs.
After a few days of recovery and treatment, Stono was ready for a new journey. Her terrifying leap off the Stono bridge left quite the paw print on Northup’s heart and he was eager to help her in any way he could. He was excited to turn things around for little Stono, saying “I decided to foster and adopt Stono to turn her water rescue into a life-long rescue and to ensure she had the best life possible.”
Stono went from falling off a bridge to falling in love with a wonderful family. She has made herself at home in the Northup household and they have welcomed her with open arms. She is gaining confidence and learning how to live her best feline life. Northup says, “she is becoming more playful and curious every day. She loves hiding in dresser drawers and playing with her new toys.”
Paying it Forward
Stono and Northup’s story also caught the attention of a good Samaritan who happened to be at Charleston Animal Society when Northup brought Stono in for her spay procedure. Inspired by the rescue story, this woman asked our team if she could cover the cost of the adoption and a carrier for Stono. Northup picked up sweet Stono and was pleasantly surprised to hear that someone paid it forward with such kindness.
Stories like Stono’s remind us how important it is for our community to come together for animals in need. If it weren’t for the incredible teamwork of the Charleston County Animal Services, Charleston County Fire Department and the Charleston County Rescue Squad, Stono would not have survived. Please support our local emergency response services, and if you’d like to help more animals like Stono who arrive at Charleston Animal Society hurt or abandoned, please donate today.