You may have seen the story that originated from San Francisco Fire Station #49 this past week. After just ONE anonymous complaint, the beloved feline Edna, that has called the station home for the last 4 years, may be facing eviction! Edna’s role at the station is an important and admittedly life-saving one. That could all change if management has it’s way and caves to the thoughtless demand. TODAY is the deadline for the poor pussycat to be removed or Animal Control will intervene.
The crew at the station are doing everything they can to avoid that fate.
Edna showed up at the station about 4 years ago as a feral cat in the area. As with many ferals, she didn’t choose the lifestyle and Edna was clearly ready to be part of a family. Her family just happened to be an entire crew of firefighters, EMT’s and a full staff–a lonely cat’s dream!
They began feeding her and happily allowed her to stay. Little by little, she allowed them to get closer and closer. The freedom she was given at the station gave her the confidence to share her space with humans. No one can be sure what happened to Edna while on the streets, but they were ready to accept her into their family where she’d be safe.
She isn’t just a stray wandering the property now though. They are happy to take her to the vet for all the important feline “meow”ntenance to keep her healthy. She was fixed and ear tipped just in case she catches the wanderlust again.
But at the station, Edna’s rewards that keep her there purrmanently? Treats and priceless companionship.
Edna is a well taken care of cat who in return, is there for the workers when they need her the most.
If your wondering just what a small cat can do to help grown men and women, the benefits FAR outweigh a solo complaint.
Numbers vary, but studies in recent years have estimated that between 17 and 22 percent of firefighters suffer from PTSD, three times the rate of the general population.
Suicides were once overlooked by firefighters and paramedics eager to maintain an image of bravery and invincibility. But that’s changing as the profession acknowledges a deadly scourge that claims more lives than the perils firefighters face in the line of duty.
Long a taboo topic in firehouses, suicide was recently labeled by the U.S. Fire Administration as a “critical” issue that’s being “faced more squarely by the fire service.”
So if Edna helps these brave individuals and saves their lives, who wouldn’t want that to continue?!
Dedicated emergency workers share just how important emotional support animals are. Purrhaps if Edna was officially classified as a support animal, these personal attacks on her living at the station would be rightfully discounted?!
An emotional support animal or support animal, is a companion animal that a medical professional says provides some benefit for a person disabled by a mental health condition or emotional disorder. ~ wikipedia.com
While the staff will NEVER let Edna go back to the homeless life on the streets, they know she is happiest at the station. Numerous people are ready to offer her a permanent home with them. What of the dozens of people who count on her comfort and purrs daily at work though?
With the story being publicly shared, the majority clearly and vocally oppose the threat of removing Edna from the station.
People are being asked to email the station to voice their concern. Pleas are being shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, calling for the hashtag #ednastays. On any of the numerous articles written, news stories shared and social media posts calling for support, you can find similar supportive comments.
As a medic with Critical Incident Stress Debriefing training, I can’t say enough that Edna should stay (provided no FF is allergic). Pet companions are proven to relieve stress. ~ annlukens7
Email sent! Coming from a 911 dispatcher who’s married to a firefighter, I hope they listen to your station’s needs! We see all over the positives of therapy animals whether they are registered or not. Edna is a symbol of how seriously they take your emotional well being. I am rooting for you! ❤️ ~ jaimieb.15