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Cat dies after fire, 3 others on the mend

One cat has died and three others are on the mend after being discovered by their owner one day after a Franklin Township fire.

Donna Crum, founder of the Blue Mountain Animal Rescue Society, said she received information from a worried caller on Wednesday, who said the cats were involved in a fire.

Crum wasted no time and headed to the location.

“As soon as I walked in the door, all you heard were all of these cries,” Crum said, who got the cats out of the house the day she received the call. “Cats were in carriers for six days (since the fire).”

Crum said there is an ongoing investigation, and the owners were notified.

“I guess it was assumed that the cats were out of the house, because there were cats running around,” said Crum.

“But unfortunately, I guess it was never confirmed. The owner went back the next day and the four cats were underneath the bed.”

Crum said the owners told her that they called veterinarians, shelters and rescuers, but couldn’t get an appointment.

“Carbon County really has been known for a lot of emergency responders and a lot of resources and we pushed that for years,” Crum added. “This is why I don’t know what happened.”

Crum said the cats were in carriers, which the owners claimed to be cleaning every other day.

“But I can tell you right now they (the cats) were in about 4 inches of urine when we got them,” Crum added. “So, their legs are burned - laying in urine. It’s horrendous.”

One cat died over the weekend.

Crum said she isn’t sure if charges will be filed.

“My concern is the animals first and foremost and educating them. I pick and choose my battles - and saving those cats was the battle I wanted to wage. That was the most important thing, I had to get them as much care as much as possible. … We spent some time on the phone, got a transporter and got a vet that was available.”

They were transported to a Lehigh Valley veterinarian and evaluated. Crum said three out of the four cats had second- or third-degree burns.

“There is one that was burned in the facial area,” Crum said. “They’re going to need extensive hydrotherapy for weeks on their paws.”

Crum said foster homes are lined up for the cats.

“They’re getting antibiotics, IV fluids. It’s going to have to be a special foster, because there is going to be a lot of work involved with the hydrotherapy a couple times a day in order for them to walk,” Crum said.

“I think was in shock more than anything else that it happened in Carbon County like this. We have a great bunch of rescuers and devoted people that would do anything and be there 24/7/365 when something like this happens. I guess nobody made the call - knew to call, or whatever the case is and that’ll be determined.”

Crum said local foster homes and shelters are overrun with cats.

“We have no place to go. We are sheltering in place. … There’s one rescue down in Lehigh County that has over 300 kittens alone. … And no new volunteers are coming up to the plate either. We’re overwhelmed. It’s constant and we’re trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the light isn’t coming.”

A GoFundMe was created for the cats. Monetary donations for their care and upkeep until adoption can be sent to BMARS; C/O D. Crum at 1185 Mauch Chunk Road, Palmerton.

One of the injured cats gets cleaned up after being transported. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO