MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Imagine the surprise when a Mount Pleasant family discovered a furry critter inside their commode — but how did it get there?

It all started when Christina Springston said she heard what sounded like water dripping from the toilet tank. “The sound escalated to light splashing so I knocked on the tank and was relieved when it didn’t knock back, yet the sound persisted,” she said.

Springston teamed up with her husband to investigate the issue.

“He sheepishly lifted the tank lid and we reluctantly peered inside. Nothing. There wasn’t anything in there,” she said.

But after Springston began to walk away, the woman said she turned back around to discover her husband in a state of shock: “’It’s in the toilet bowl’ he said, and it has fur and it’s alive,” she recalled.

The family’s dog – a one-year-old lab – was on high alert certain that something was inside the toilet bowl. So, the couple called their landlord to explain that something was alive inside their commode, and not sure how it got there. “We always leave the lid down,” Springston assured. 

Springston said she was met with silence as she explained the situation to her landlord before finally hearing, “well, that’s a new one” in response.

The landlord arrived with equipment to help fish out whatever may be inside the commode only to discover a squirrel was trapped inside.

“Unfortunately, the squirrel’s story did not end well but we have determined that he made it down the vent stack on the roof, which ultimately connects to the toilet,” she explained.

The roof stack, or vent stack, is a vertical drain line that goes through your home’s roof to reach the outside. “It connects with your main roof vent, allowing gases to vent and maintain the proper pressure within your home’s plumbing system,” according to plumber A.P. May.

Springston, who has long worked in the Building Inspections Division for the Town of Mount Pleasant, said the problem could have been prevented if the roof stack was covered. “It will be now,” she exclaimed.

She said that inspectors who have worked in that department for more than 20 years have never heard about something like this happening.