A Florida police officer recently received a letter of commendation after rescuing a kitten that was trapped in a vehicle’s wheel well last year.
According to a Facebook post from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Officer Marshall Smith was patrolling his assigned area on July 3, 2022, when he encountered a car that was blocking traffic on Blanding Boulevard.
The letter of commendation from Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters explained what happened next: “Citizens informed Officer Smith that a small kitten had climbed into the wheel well of the vehicle that was blocking traffic, and that if the car was moved, the kitten would almost certainly be killed.”
The tiny, terrified cat would not budge, despite several attempts to extract it from the precarious situation.
“Officer Smith immediately began his own efforts to coax the kitten out of the wheel well, but in its frightened state, the kitten resisted Officer Smith, including by biting him multiple times,” the letter stated.
Determined to rescue the kitten, Smith decided to use water to gently flush the little guy out.
“Officer Smith’s plan was met with great success and he was valiantly able to retrieve the kitten and turn him over to the citizen. Luckily for the kitten, the citizen was a cat person and decided to keep him,” the letter continued.
The cat’s new owner even decided to name him Marshall after his rescuer.
In early March, Smith received formal recognition by the Meritorious Awards Review Board, which decided to present him with the letter of commendation.
“Officer Smith’s actions during the incident clearly demonstrate his commitment to JSO’s core value of being community focused, even to our animal citizens,” the letter read. “Officer Smith is to be commended for going above and beyond the call of duty to save this kitten.”
As one Facebook commenter put it, “Let’s give Officer Smith a round of a-paws!”