Cooperation between the Philadelphia police and fire departments and a local animal rescue group helped save 17 cats after a house fire in Bustleton last week.
Firefighters responded to a call about a blaze on the late afternoon of April 4 on the 800 block of Medway Road. They brought the fire under control. The residents were not home, and the cause of the fire is unknown.
Inside the home were 22 cats. Two died in the fire, and three were immediately returned to the owners.
A police lieutenant at the scene noticed that some of the cats on the lawn were ailing, and she contacted the PetSmart at 11000 Roosevelt Blvd.
An employee of the store, which houses a Northeast Animal Rescue shelter, called Jayme Bader-Rosenthal, a rescue volunteer. Bader-Rosenthal arrived quickly on the scene, put eight cats in her car and headed to the Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center in Levittown.
A police officer noticed one other cat in particular despair and handed the animal off to Bader-Rosenthal, who had pulled into a nearby gas station after receiving a phone call. The officer gave the cat-filled car an escort to the city line.
Meanwhile, Northeast Animal Rescue volunteer Cathy Merrigan arrived on Medway Road and transported eight cats to the Center for Animal Referral and Emergency Services in Langhorne.
The cats at both emergency centers were given oxygen and treated for other injuries. They will be returned to the owner.
Bader-Rosenthal said the cats were fixed and appeared to be sociable and well cared for. She’s happy there was a happy ending for them.
“The compassion of the police and fire departments was unbelievable,” she said. ••