We covered Dutchess’ story on October 9, in Dutchess Burned Kitten Gets Help and Recovers. 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, saving her life.
After first being taken to Central Illinois Small Animal Rescue, where she was provided with care, Dutchess was taken to the University of Illinois’ Small Animal Clinic. Along with smoke inhalation, Dutchess suffered severe burns.
Petmom Jackie Jones’ insurance was not going to cover Dutchess’ care, so the clinic donated money from a special fund, and rescuer Toni Day set up both a Facebook page and a care fund.
An update in the local news source The Pantograph, on Tuesday, said over $10,000 had been raised thus far toward the cost of Dutchess’ care. Thanks to the public’s generosity, the call for donations has been suspended.
Those who still want to send money are advised to donate to Central Illinois Small Animal Rescue, where Dutchess stayed for the first few days following the fire, and where she received her initial care. There is a PayPal button at the CSAR site; donors are asked to put for Dutchess Jones in the notes area as they make payment. CSAR is in dire need of funds, and needs money to continue their work for the animals. Otherwise, they may have to cease operations.
Dr. Jennifer Herring of the University of Illinois’ Small Animal Clinic, where Dutchess is in residence as she continues to recover from her injuries, said the nearly seven month old kitten is doing well. As with Bernice, the burn survivor who many readers will recall, Dutchess will most likely require surgery to repair her eyelids when she is more fully healed from her burns. The eyelids are retracting as the burned tissue shrinks. As in Bernice’s case, Dutchess gets eyedrops to keep her eyes from drying out. Her third eyelid helps her when she sleeps.
A visit to the The Dutchess Burn Fund Facebook page shows that Toni Day, her partner Christy Day, clinic staff and others who have gotten to know Dutchess, both in person and online, have fallen in love with the little survivor who has kept her spirit while fighting her way back from her injuries.
A comparison of photos from three weeks ago and now shows a remarkable transformation, from the charred looking creature who was brought from a burning building to the furry little cat with healing burns who is sitting on laps and getting up and walking around.
Dutchess is dressed in her cute Halloween bandages, October 28, 2012, during a visit with Toni Day. Staff at the clinic have also decorated the kitty’s living area with cheerful seasonal decorations. The series of videos gives a glimpse at Dutchess as she is now. Videos embedded from the Dutchess Burn Fund Facebook page