Lifestyle & Human Interest

Sneaky Guinea Pig Named 'Snowball' Rescued from Sewer Pipe After Escaping from Home


When a pet gets out and is in a precarious situation, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. The category of pet and the scenario often determine whom to call.

Firefighters are known for getting cats out of trees — a bit of a trope, but it happens. Birds stuck in car grilles are another emergency that happens more than you might think.

But what if the animal in question is a guinea pig, and the location is a sewer pipe? One family in Cincinnati had to puzzle that one out.

On April 27, the family pet, named Snowball, managed to get out of the house and into a sewer system.

Guinea pigs, being the prey animals that they are, love nooks and crannies that keep them away from prying eyes and hungry predators. So when Snowball saw his opportunity to hide in a pipe and masquerade as a sewer rat, he took it.

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The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati was called, and after they were alerted to the situation, Jeff Greene and Reggie Gray were dispatched to deal with the furry escapee.

A  sewer district representative told that Greene had to be lowered into the sewer to locate the critter. In one of the pipes that connected to the street, Greene spotted the runaway.

But spotting was only half the battle. Now that Snowball had been located, how in the world would they coax him out?

Video of the rescue showed Snowball far out of arm’s reach down the pipe.

“Hey, buddy, come on!” Greene said, but the piggy wasn’t about to budge. So they came up with a very clever rescue method.

Snowball had his own Indiana Jones moment when his rescuers started rolling a basketball toward him. It was just small enough to fit in the pipe, and as he scurried to keep out of its way, Snowball soon found himself in Greene’s hands.

“Snowball the guinea pig escaped from his West Price Hill home & thought a sewer was a good place to hang out,” the MSD shared on Facebook. “MSD’s Jeff Greene & Reggie Gray came to the rescue!”

“When Snowball wouldn’t budge from the pipe, they used a basketball to nudge him out. Now Snowball needs a bath.”

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The victorious photo shows a triumphant Greene holding up the once-white guinea pig, who has the typical, wide-eyed, stunned look that many cavies sport.

It was a good thing that the weather was so nice that day. As the MSD representative pointed out, had it been raining, Snowball might have been washed into the sewer system and lost for good.

Now that he’s had his big adventure, hopefully, Snowball is resting, relaxing, and taking the “stay home, stay safe” warning to heart.

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