Freckles, Cat Found in Debris of Burned Shelter, is Recovering Well

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Freckles recovering
Photo via Lexington Humane Society at Facebook


A cat whose survival lifted hearts and spirits when she was found in the debris of her burned out shelter several days after a deadly fire is doing well and making a good recovery from her burns and associated medical issues.

A devastating fire destroyed the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter in Rockholds, Kentucky on the night of Friday, November 29, 2013, killing well over 20 cats and at least one dog. Most of the shelter’s dogs were helped to escape, but most of its cats could not be saved, though firefighters braved the burning, crumbling building in their efforts to save the animals.

Shelter staff and volunteers, community members, and animal lovers from all over were saddened by the loss of life and the potential blow to the shelter’s lifesaving work for the animals. Donations poured in to help the nonprofit continue its work, and the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter has reopened in a temporary facility.

Spirits lifted when Freckles the cat and Ziggy the dog were found alive on December 5. Freckles was found in the burned out remains of the shelter, and Ziggy was discovered hiding in the woods nearby.

Freckles was quickly transported to the Lexington Humane Society for care.  LHS released a note on her condition that days, saying, in part: “Freckles is in serious but stable condition. She has many serious burns, is severely dehydrated, and is in respiratory distress. She will be under the care of Dr. Ubelhor and our LHS medical team for an extensive amount of time.”

LHS posted a positive update at Facebook on December 13, eight days after Freckles’ rescue, saying:

“FRECKLES UPDATE: Freckles is recovering very well under the watchful eyes of the LHS medical team. She is comfortable and enjoying relaxing and getting loved on by the entire LHS staff!

“Freckles is a sweet, brave girl who loves nothing more than being petted. As you can see, her injured paws have been bandaged, but it has not hindered her courageous spirit!

“Please note, Freckles is not up for adoption and will not be up for adoption for several months, at least. We are not taking names or holds for her at this time. Our focus for now must be on her recovery. If you are interested in adoption, please consider one of the hundreds of other LHS animals already waiting for a perfect home. Many have been up for adoption for hundreds of days, and each one deserves a loving forever home in time for the holidays!”

Freckles’ former foster caregiver Emmy Traub  was deeply saddened that Freckles lost her kittens in the fire, and was intensely concerned with Freckles’ fate in the days she was unaccounted for after the fire. She was overjoyed to learn that Freckles had survived.  Still emotionally affected and attached, Emmy wrote in the comments for LHs’ update: “Sweet Freckles! Wish we would have fostered her and her kittens just a little bit longer…she would not be hurt and the babies would be alive. But, we hoped that they would be adopted fast and be in their new homes for Christmas. After 5 months of fostering Freckles and her sisters with 3 litters of kittens, we could no longer afford to keep them. But, Freckles is the sweetest cat I’ve ever met.”

You can follow the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter and Lexington Humane Society on Facebook.

The shelter is still in need of help but is back up and running thanks to their own efforts and help from the local community, along with animal lovers from near and far.

See our post from December 5, Cat Found Alive Under Burned Rubble of Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter for more on the story.

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