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Ready? Set? Go! Imagine that your mission is to save 20 cats that survived a hoarding house fire. All the cats are hiding in the dark in the cluttered, smoky ruins and need immediate rescue within 12 hours. Do you accept your mission?

While most people would balk at such a challenge, the Long Island rescue community jumped on it. But first, they had to immediately organize a group effort, navigate around a fire-damaged structure in the dark, and get the cats to safety ASAP. The logistics of such an effort would be overwhelming, much less in 12 hours. But that’s what they did! 

Save 20 Cats from a Hoarding House Fire– GO!

Sadly, the house fire left a Farmingdale home ruined in late September. It was the same time that the community was reeling from a tragic charter bus accident that made international news.

It’s not clear how the fire started. Somehow, at least 20 cats survived. But a cleaning crew was scheduled to arrive and gut the place. Which meant these cats had nowhere to go!

Inside the burned structure, hoarding house fire, Long Island, Conklin Street

Inside the fire-damaged structure on Conklin Street. Images via Facebook/John Debacker

Unfortunately, the clock ticked down, and the cats were still there, with just 12 hours left to do something. That’s when the rescuers first got word of the emergency and sprang like cats into action.

One saving grace was these were mostly friendly kitties and not feral. Because the challenge would have been much harder or impossible in that timeframe! Arriving on the scene, they quickly filled up all the carriers with frightened but non-aggressive cats. They even had to ask for help from the community to deliver even more carriers. Wonderfully, they rose to the occasion and delivered more than enough carriers.

Cat carriers assembled to save 20 cats from a hoarding house after a house fire on Long Island, Conklin Street

Carriers at the scene of the house fire. Images via Facebook/John Debacker

Find Foster Homes for 20 Cats –Do it NOW!

The rescuers rose to the challenge and caught every cat around the structure. 

Cat saved from hoarding house fire on Long Island, Conklin Street

It would be hard enough to catch 20 cats in a pristine home, much less inside cluttered ruins in the dark. But they did, with no time to spare, as the cleaning crew arrived on schedule.

Inside the burned structure, hoarding house fire, Long Island, Conklin Street, grey cat rescued

But then, the rescuers were left with the task of finding foster homes for all the cats on the spot. 

“We don’t play around… We had less then TWELVE HOURS to find and catch 20 cats inside of a Farmingdale fire/hoarding house before the cleaning crew was set to arrive to gut the entire house, and we did it!,” shared John Debacker.“But the cats now urgently need fosters!”

John Debacker, Long Island Cat/Kitten Solution, Inc. Hoarding House Fire, Farmingdale, NY, Conklin Street House Fire, cat rescue, 1

As we know, rescuers everywhere are struggling to keep up with the number of cats needing help to begin with. So it’s no easy matter to find places for so many cats overnight. 

Cat saved from hoarding house fire on Long Island, Conklin Street, 3

If you are in the Long Island area, you can find out how to help at the Facebook post.

Cat saved from hoarding house fire on Long Island, Conklin Street, 2

Update on Cat Rescued from Sprawling AC Unit

We previously shared the story about Debacker and other New York rescuers coordinating an epic effort to save a cat ‘entombed’ in a huge AC unit. We’re happy to see the cat, named Dino, is doing great and found a new home!

“After being stuck inside a large AC unit for at least 14 days, I am happy to report that Dino has been adopted,” Debacker shared.

Dino the cat rescued from a sprawling AC unit in Brooklyn, John Debacker, PETA

Dino the cat rescued from a sprawling AC unit

 

 

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