Kind Stranger and Animal Rescue Save 86 Cats From Raging Fire

On March 4, Jackie Mihal was unexpectedly packing up over 90 animals from her rescue center and trying to escape from a wildfire. Mihal is the president of Salty Cats of St. Andrews Rescue, a nonprofit organization in Panama City where she takes in stray, feral, and abandoned cats and not only provides them with medical treatment and spay and neuter procedures, but she ultimately finds them loving forever homes.

Source: WMBB News 13/Youtube

On the night of March 4, Mihal had just stepped outside into her backyard to check on her 87 animals when she was shocked to discover a huge wall of flames! “No warning, none. The whole woods was on fire,” Mihal told Daily Paws. She acted fast since she had 87 animals who needed to be moved to a safe location. Luckily, good Samaritans in the area were checking to see if anyone needed help evacuating when they came across Mihal’s crates filled with animals and rushed over to help out.

Salty cats of St. Andrews rescue/Facebook

Source: Salty cats of St. Andrews rescue/Facebook

Between the four sets of hands, they were able to successfully place all the animals into crates, out the door, and into a packed trailer, all in about 20 minutes!

“The building was being engulfed in smoke,” Mihal said. “I keep all my windows open and the smoke was pouring in. We didn’t know how much time we’d have before the building went up. I never could have gotten it done if Salmon, Morris, and Trunzo hadn’t been there,” Mihal told Daily Paws.

Salty cats of St. Andrews rescue/Facebook

Source: Salty cats of St. Andrews rescue/Facebook

Mihal took the cats and rabbit to a friend’s home, where they were temporarily staying in a large storage building for safe shelter. The Adkins Avenue fire destroyed many homes in the surrounding area, and many of the animals were extremely traumatized and sustained injuries.

“We have some that I know will never be adopted unless we find another person like me who’s OK with them never being handled,” Mihal told Daily Paws. “But the majority of them are highly adaptable. They’re spayed, neutered, and ready to go,” said Mihal.

They still need time to grow and be vaccinated, neutered, and microchipped before they can find their forever homes. That’ll likely take about two months, the rescue says.

Despite the scary devastation of the Adkins Avenue fire, this miraculous story shows the impact that a helping hand can have in times of need!

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