The head of New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section and workers from a downtown shop on Friday afternoon saw through the dramatic rescue of a raccoon that had become trapped in a storm drain downtown during heavy rainfall.
At about 3 p.m., Officer Allyson Halm of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section was called to the one-way stretch of Forest Street on a report of the distressed animal.
There, she saw the raccoon “attempting to maintain its gripe on the grate with water rushing beneath it,” Halm said.
“The panicked look on the raccoon’s face is still in my head,” she told NewCanaanite.com.
Halm sprang into action, calling for town workers to assist in lifting the grate though “I knew the raccoon didn’t have much time,” she said.
“Its grip kept slipping,” Halm recalled.
She provided a towel for the raccoon to grab onto and put plastic over the storm drain since the driving rain was making it more difficult for the mammal to hang on.
Stepping out of the rain, Halm found the downtown worker who had notified police—from Embody Fitness Gourmet—that she “needed strong guys to lift the grate.”
“All the employees came out and managed to lift it enough for the raccoon to jump onto the sidewalk,” Halm recalled.
The “wet, exhausted, frightened creature” fled into a street-level area protected from the rain but where it could not safely remain. Eventually, Halm was able to snare the animal and release it in a nearby cluster of bushes.