If you are a follower of our Facebook page then you are probably familiar with this rescue, we have been updating on the cats for the past few days. After hours of investigative work I have finally been able to piece together the whole story on our Elk rescue cats.
About a month ago there was a house fire in Elk, WA where sadly the owner of the home perished in the fire. Also on this property lived several cats that were being fed and sheltered by the owner.
Immediately after the fire, three very caring neighbors – Cindy, Jackie and Pat- tried to help the cats by making sure they were fed. But the cost of feeding all these cats soon became overwhelming so they reached out to the Sanctuary to see if we could help with food and somehow help them re-home these cats.
Lorraine, one of our truly amazing volunteers, went to Elk to meet with the neighbors to see how we could help. From what Lorraine could tell there were about 15 to 20 cats in need of help. A plan was formed to trap the cats before the next spay/neuter clinic on July 26th, however circumstances quickly changed and this became an emergency situation because the property was scheduled to be cleared on July 16th. That meant that any shelter the cats had would be removed.
On Tuesday night July 14th , Lorraine, with her SUV loaded with live traps met the neighbors, and with traps that Cindy also provided, trapping began. Because of the great team work of these ladies 15 cats were trapped. On Wednesday morning Lorraine called letting us know that the first load of cats would be arriving at the sanctuary by noon. At this time everyone started putting together the enclosure they would all go into. Crates with blankets, litter boxes, food and water had just been put in place when Lorraine arrived with the first group of 15 cats.
As soon as all the cats were settled Lorraine was off again to check the traps for more cats. A total of 19 cats, including one mother with a new litter of 6 kittens and one very pregnant kitty were all rescued. The traps were left with food just in case a cat had been missed, as of this morning (Saturday) the traps remain empty, so we are hoping that we have not left anyone behind.
Once the cats were brought to the shelter we got a good look at them. They are all very, very thin, extremely matted and will need to be shaved to prevent skin damage, some are pregnant, and most are sick. There’s one with an awful looking eye, some with extreme Upper Respiratory Infections – they are in such poor condition that many of their problems will require veterinary care. They all need to be spayed/neutered, and we would like to do Snap testing for fiv/felv on all of them, but that’s really expensive. They are all very scared and bewildered and so are not very friendly yet so evaluations are happening slowly.
The nursing mother was so traumatized that she would not care for her kittens so one of our sweet foster lady’s took them home and is now busy feeding the little guys every 2 hours round the clock. They are maybe a 7 to 10 days old. Hopefully momma cat can eventually take over the care of her kittens again.
One old senior girl that was trapped had to go to Lorraine’s house as she was too sick to go to the Sanctuary and it was not known if she would live through the night. Once at Lorraine’s home fluids were started because she was so dehydrated, she was also force fed with a syringe of AD, a high calorie, nutritious, prescription canned cat food. It was not sure she would live through the night, but when morning arrived and she was alive and maybe just a pinch better, she was named Amazing Grace…. The mats were so bad that her whole body was bound tightly in one solid hair mass making it difficult for her to move properly. Last night was spent with scissors and brushes getting this whole mat of hair off her. It was then discovered that Amazing Grace was really Amazing George!
I know you might be thinking that taking 19 more cats and kittens should not be a big deal for a sanctuary, however we were already caring for close to 100 cats and kittens, bringing in 19 more who needed such immediate care was pushing our facility, volunteers, food and medical supplies to the extreme.
There are no words to express our gratitude for the rapid response we received from very caring individuals and organizations not just in Washington State but beyond. We had hoped and prayed for a little help, what we received was nothing short of a miracle. We know that these cats will most likely be with us for a long while as they are treated for their health issues, gain weight and heal both physically and mentally and start on the road to a new life. Thank you for coming to our rescue when we so desperately needed you.