Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District Crew Saves Snowball the Guinea Pig from Sewer

After 3.5 hours and a nudge from a basketball, the West Price Hill pet was safely returned to his family

click to enlarge Jeff Greene of the MSD and Snowball the guinea pig - Photo:
Jeff Greene of the MSD and Snowball the guinea pig

Stay-at-home orders were clearly misunderstood by an adventurous West Price Hill pet guinea pig named Snowball last month, who made his way out of his home on April 27 and wandered into a storm drain inlet. 

The Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District received a work order from the family that read "guinea pig in sewer" and sent out MSD team members Jeff Greene and Reggie Gray to save the furry adventurer.

According to MSD Communications Manager Deb Leonard, when Greene and Gray arrived on the scene, Snowball had ventured 10 feet into the inlet pipe after falling 2.5 feet into the storm drain — 10 more feet and the little guy would have fallen into the manhole, which leads to the combined sewer. 

Greene, who can be seen in the above Tweet, climbed down the manhole so he could get an eye on Snowball — who was stuck inside the pipe — and Gray positioned himself at the stormwater inlet on the other side. Their plan was to push Snowball toward Greene so he could grab him and whisk the little guy to safety. 

After trying several objects, the two acquired a basketball, which they could slowly roll down the pipe (the pipe was about 12 inches in diameter) and guide Snowball out without him dodging it. 

“It took a lot of ingenuity to get him out. We were trying everything. We even used a plastic fish bowl on the end of a sewer snake before we thought of the basketball," said Greene. 

After 3.5 hours, Snowball was safely returned to his owners. And we can assume he will likely never stray again. Good work MSD!