Dutchess is a 6-month-old cat who was severely burned in a house fire last month. She has been lovable and purring through all of her treatments and has stolen the heart of all who work with her. – University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Illinois Vet News, October 2012
Dutchess was rescued with 2nd and 3rd degree burns from the Saybrook, IL fire of September 19 that took all of her family’s possessions, their home, and the life of the family dog. Firefighter Toni Day made the rescue when she picked up the burned kitten who was found hiding under a sofa and handed her out through a window, though she didn’t think the little pet would survive.
Dutchess was wrapped in a wet towel and taken to Central Illinois Small Animal Rescue. A few days later, petmom Jackie Jones took her to the University of Illinois’ Small Animal Clinic, where she has since remained while receiving care. Dutchess had trouble breathing because of smoke and debris in her lungs and needed care for her eyes. She was burned on her face, chest, torso, legs and paws, and a flea collar had melted into her skin. Due to the severity of her burns, the possibility of infection was a concern.
Jackie’s insurance does not cover Dutchess’ care, so the kitty’s rescuer started a Facebook page to share the kitten’s story and solicit donations for her care. So far, nearly $3,000 of the campaign’s $5,000 goal has been raised. The University has also contributed to Dutchess’ care with a $500 donation from a special fund. Dutchess’ care costs about $110 a day, and she will remain in the hospital for another week or two. Dutchess will need followup care after she returns home. Any funds raised over the amount of her care will be use to replenish the University’s emergency fund.
Donations can be made by calling the University of Illinois at 217-333-2762 and specifying that the donation to be applied to Dutchess Jones -Owner Jackie Jones. There is additional donation information, along with photos, updates, and links to a few local TV news broadcasts at The Dutchess Burn Fund Facebook page.
Dutchess is recovering well, is expected to retain much of her vision and to return to a normal life, and has endeared herself to her caregivers with her sweet and loving personality.
A feature in today’s Pantograph quotes Dr. Jennifer Herring saying, “When she first came in, we couldn’t tell what kind of cat she was. She was very extensively injured. We were extremely concerned about her.” Describing the young cat’s recovery as “phenomenal”, Dr. Herring continued, “She has been so great, so easy to work with. She purrs all the time.”