Wildfires are some of the most tragic natural disasters we have on this planet. Fire consumes everything and is extremely difficult to maintain. Many homes and wildlife are in the path of being consumed by danger. However, there’s some good that comes out of these situations, like the rescue of a small kitten by a group of firefighters.
Firefighters, A Box, and A Kitten
Firefighters Hand Over a Box
The wildfire in New Mexico began in April and continued for well over a month. Firefighters faced a head-long battle with the raging fire for so long, but it didn’t stop them from helping humans and animals alike. So when they handed a box over, they were just doing their duty. What was in the box? A small kitten was saved from the fire zone.
Summer Piper, a resident of San Diego, was assigned to go to New Mexico to help with rescues from the fire in the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon area. And thankfully she is a volunteer for the San Diego Humane Society. Piper is no stranger to fires, as her home was once threatened by wildfires in 2003 and 2007. When she arrived, the firefighters handed her the box. In a recent interview with AccuWeather, Piper recounted the events:
“We were doing patrols behind fire lines, and [the firefighters] had a small kitten in a box, and they said they had found her out front,” said Piper. “She had a little bit of blood coming from her nose and mouth, and she was pretty lethargic. So we brought her back in, and a vet diagnosed her as just having a severe upper respiratory infection.”
Piper took the kitten to a temporary animal evacuation center in Las Vegas (New Mexico, not Nevada) to have the lucky little floof checked out. The kitten indeed had a respiratory infection, and the blood resulted from inflammation in its nose and throat, compounded by smoke inhalation.
The kitten found by firefighters fighting the #NewMexicoFires is doing much better. Our Emergency Response Team volunteer Summer gives us an update on the kitten, from the temporary animal shelter in Las Vegas, NM. #CalfCanyonFire #HermitsPeakFire pic.twitter.com/LXGakY3OYj
— San Diego Humane Society (@sdhumane) May 23, 2022
The New Mexico Fires and Summer’s Recovery
All in all, 15 dogs and 1 kitten were rescued and taken to the temporary shelter after the fires began. Many of the animals were either strays or rescued pets from homes. The fires spread very quickly, and some residents could not get back to their homes to reach their pets and belongings.
So what happened with the kitten? Well, the kitten received the name Summer after her rescuer. The human Summer would love nothing more than to take the precious kitty home, but unfortunately, she couldn’t. Meanwhile, Summer, the cat, loves to play with little balls and her namesake foster mom.
Below, you can see the playful kitten in a video shared by San Diego Humane Society on Twitter.
“The kitten is a little girl, and I became quite attached. So there was actually a rescue group, Española Humane, that came yesterday. They picked up the puppies and the kittens; they’re gonna do a spay and neuter project for us here and they’ve named her Summer, but she doesn’t technically have a name,” said Piper. “They named her that because I think everybody wants me to take her home, but I can’t.”
We’re glad little Summer was saved, and thank you to those brave firefighters who saved her life! Meanwhile, Summer, the rescuer, had her work cut out and was seen helping people and many other animals in the wake of the fires. In all, the fires spread to a perimeter of 600 miles in New Mexico.
Day 12 for our Emergency Response Team volunteer Summer in the field helping animals and people impacted by the #NewMexicoFires. Today she is delivering food for dogs and wildlife behind fire lines in Sapello. #CalfCanyonFire #HermitsPeakFire pic.twitter.com/X3jNoBq9s9
— San Diego Humane Society (@sdhumane) May 27, 2022
Update on Summer the Kitten
At the Española Humane, the kitten received all the care she needed. According to the nonprofit’s Facebook page, the New Mexico and Arizona National Guard helped care for the kitten and many other evacuated pets.
Following such a devastating disaster, there was an amazing multi-state effort to save not only the people but the animals displaced by the fires. It’s heartwarming to see how many kind people cared so much for this vulnerable kitten.
As you can see below, this kitten has plenty of love and attention!