Kitty Endures California Wildfire, Now A Symbol Of Hope For Other Pets’ Survival (IMAGES)

The Valley Fire, north of San Francisco, has been burning for several days, destroying over 70,00 acres and at least 585 homes to date. Hundreds of people have been displaced, many having had to evacuate quickly. In the rush, sometimes pets and animals can’t be found or gathered in time. Sadly, many animals have died in the fire. But sometimes those animals manage to escape on their own, as in the case of several goats in the area:

Goats wandering the devastated area (Kent Porter/Press Democrat

Goats wandering the devastated area (Kent Porter/Press Democrat

And this group of domesticated pigs:

Please, no bacon jokes. (Kent Porter/Press Democrat)

Please, no bacon jokes. (Kent Porter/Press Democrat)

One animal who managed to survive has emerged as a symbol of hope for a pretty hopeless situation. A black cat was discovered in one of the hardest-hit areas. He was rushed by the firefighters who found him to the Wasson Memorial Veterinary Clinic in Lakeport. He was quickly assessed there and treatment begun. A staffer told The Dodo:

“He was brought in by the firefighter who found him. He has suffered burns, primarily around his face, but all his hair has been singed.”

This is how the kitty looked when he arrived

This is how the kitty looked when he arrived. Photo: Wasson Memorial Veterinary Clinic via The Dodo

A feeding tube was inserted and the kitty’s burns treated. After a few days, his condition had vastly improved. Though his face is still wince-inducing (his eyes are okay, by the way), he has responded well to treatment. Staffers say that he loves to be petted and purrs happily.

He had to be fed with a tube due to burns around his mouht

He has to be fed with a tube due to burns around his mouth. Photo: Wasson Memorial Veterinary Clinic via The Dodo

This kitty’s survival has given hope to many who had to leave their pets behind as they evacuated. Many of the animals are horses, as much of the area affected by the wildfire is horse country. It was impossible to get horses trailered in time, so many horse owners are hoping that their animals are “resilient,” as one put it. A search crew of equine vets has found 25 horses that did survive, though half a dozen (so far) have not.

There are several ways owners and pets are being reunited, when possible. ValleyFireAnimals.com keeps reports of lost and found animals. Lake County Animal Care and Control Center, like Wasson Veterinary, is taking in animals found without owners. They are also keeping pets for owners who have nowhere to keep them. PET Lost and Found for Lake County Fires and Valley Fire – Lake County Lost or Found Pets are Facebook pages set up to help reunite pets and owners. On Twitter, #valleyfirepets is being used to organize lost and found pets.

If you would like to help, you can contact the Petaluma Animal Services Foundation. All donations go to help animals displaced by the Valley wildfire.

And, no, we don’t care more about animals than people. Please read this article and don’t accuse us of doing so. We can care about both, we are multi-taskers.

It’s hard enough on the people who are dealing with this devastation. But the animals have no understanding of what is happening. They get frightened and run or hide, as the kitty did. Let’s hope he finds his people; let’s hope they all find each other.

 

Featured image via Wasson Memorial Veterinary Clinic