In my nearly three decades of work in animal search and rescue, I’ve found there’s one tool that is often overlooked by many in the field. This handy tool is a telescoping inspection mirror.

These mirrors are just large enough to see into holes, in walls, and behind objects such as furniture. With its telescoping feature, this mirror makes a search safer since it helps to keep your head and hands further away from any possible risk.

For instance, reaching with your hands to look for a snake that has gone into a hole in a wall or behind furniture is dangerous since you don’t know whether the snake is poisonous or not, so it’s best to take all possible precautions.

Not long ago, I rescued a kitten that had fallen into a pipe with the help of a telescoping inspection mirror. When I arrived on the scene, I was unable to see into the pipe due to the angle. After 20 minutes of trying with the mirror, I managed to rescue the kitten.

Telescoping mirrors come in round or rectangular sizes and they often cost less than $10. I think these mirrors are a must-have tool for all animal rescue workers.