Dutchess Burned Kitten Recovers, Cheered on by Friends and Supporters

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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


0 thoughts on “Dutchess Burned Kitten Recovers, Cheered on by Friends and Supporters”

  1. This just hurts to watch…..that poor baby girl….burns are SOOO painful….glad she’s doing better though!! Keep going little Princess!

  2. i think she is doing amazingly well for what she’s been through!.. grooming herself tells me she is content and feeling pretty good…her recovery and healing will take some time but with the extraordinary care she is receiving she’ll breeze right through it!!:)

  3. Blessings on poor little Duchess. Especially on National Cat Day. And, she looks so cute in her Halloween costume. Thank God she has such a group of Angels taking care of her.

  4. How nice that animal lovers will donate all this money for this kitten, when there are HUMANS who lost their jobs and going hungry and need our help, yet are disregarded and looked down upon because they are unemployed.

  5. What a wonderful story. Congrats to all involved. It’s a shame someone always has to destroy everyone’s positive mood by saying something about people should be helping humans rather than animals. People can care about both you know!

  6. Me, Great name because it’s all about you. Thank God for the people that care for animals. Humans have their hero’s also. Why would you even post this? Are you jealous that you are not getting enough? Try giving like these folks and maybe something will start coming your way.

  7. I have been following this story for a while now, and I am so pleased to see that she is making good progress. I hope that when she is healed that she finds a loving home. As for the person who set her on fire, I hope that they burn for an eternity for what they did.

    As for Someone’s comments, I think they are totally uncalled for. People do give to human welfare organisations as well, but someone has to have a voice for the animals as well!

  8. Megan – just wanted to let you know… Dutchess has a family that loves her very much. No one set her on fire, her home was burned through no one’s fault and the family lost their dog. Dutchess was saved from the fire by Toni, the woman in the videos who was one of the firefighters fighting the blaze and Toni has continued to visit Dutchess while she heals. She is Dutchess’ guardian angel. Dutchess’ family visits her too but they lost everything in the fire, which is why it is so important for all of us to come together to send her our love and prayers and if we can, to help with her healing expenses.

  9. This brought tears to my eyes, God Speed Dutchess! I can wait to see you when you’re completely healed and can sleep in cuteness again. Awesome work to everyone involved in her care! NBL! <3

  10. Sending lots of healing thoughts and prayers for you Dutchess!I hate to be ugly but I hope whoever done this to Dutchess burns in hell!!!

  11. Hi Debbie,
    Dutchess was burned in an accidental fire at her home. She is doing really well now. Her rescuer has stood by her, as have the hospital staffers and her many supporters.

  12. Does duchess now belong to that firefighter? Or does the family want her? I love cats and when I heard what happened to her I really wanted to go up there and help her. Its awesome that shes pulling through

  13. Hi Emma,
    Look for an announcement about Dutchess fairly soon. She is very much wanted and loved and will, hopefully, go home from the hospital before too much longer.

  14. I love animals….I spend money on them, and on humans in need….
    much research has proved that people who abuse animals go on to abuse humans.

  15. Sweet Baby Girl! I’m so glad she’s doing so well. Dutchess looks fantastic! You guys at CSAR did a fantastic job healing her and much love to her family for loving Dutchess and keeping her as the family member that she is. My heart breaks for the loss of their dog. God’s blessing to everyone always :0)

  16. Thank you so much Lilly. I personally love animals more than most humans. Animals are faithful and adore you and look up to you with love in their eyes. Most humans are looking at you thinking how they’re going to screw you!!

    God Bless you Dutchess. You are a beautiful baby and deserve all the best. I am very very proud of your family. God Bless Them.

  17. The Dutchess Burn Fund is her Facebook page for those who want to see updated photos of this baby. She looks to be doing remarkably well, all things considered. Glad there are folks like Toni in the world to rescue little ones like this. Such a tragedy for Dutchess’ family and Toni has really helped them have one less worry by setting up the page and working so hard to secure donations for her care.

  18. Well said!!! I couldn’t agree more. I wish more people thought like you do. Animals are never mean unless defending themselves. Such precious souls.

  19. How disgusting and soul destroying. Sometimes Im ashamed to be human. How that poor baby must be suffering, she doesnt look happy at all. Try keeping your eyes wide open for 10 seconds and see how it feels! She should be put out of her suffering. Sometimes people do more harm than good . Shame on you!

  20. Dutchess has made a full recovery, including a procedure to reconstruct her eyelids, and she now resides in a loving home with the firefighter who saved her life. I’m not sure how that is shameful.

  21. To all of the “people” who are saying negative things on here, for one the animals were here first we keep taking away their natural habitats and treating them badly. it really makes me wonder why THEY are called animals when most of them are so forgiving even after being hurt. people sometimes make me sick when i see all the self pity and slanderous ways they talk we could learn an awful lot from our pets.

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