As disaster groups continue to comb the charred landscape that was once Paradise, California, two men are working to help reunite families with cats thought lost in the fire.
Shannon Jay, who describes himself as a “cat rescuer”, and Douglas Thron, a drone videographer, have been searching through the remains of the deadly Camp Fire to find cats. The pair have rescued around 10 cats.
The video below shows one such rescue.
The two Good Samaritans were searching one site when they hear a “meow” from a burnt car. The terrified cat was trapped under the car, pinned in the underbelly of the vehicle, but had miraculously survived the flames.
Thron has to crawl under the car and pry it up to reach her.
When he finally pulls her out, the two are covered in ash and oil.
The cat can’t stop meowing but she is finally safe and Jay puts her into a crate, sighing with relief when it’s done.
His rescue efforts were caught on film by Thron in the video below.
Jay later told KTVU that the cats he’s rescued have remarkable tenacity.
“These cats have a very powerful desire to stay on this earth,” Jay said. Jay told the news channel he has clocked 800 hours in the field rescuing animals.
For Thron, the filming is a labor of love.
“It’s like going into a battlefield,” he said. “Their paws are burned, those poor little cats. Seeing a cat get reunited, well, sometimes that’s the only thing the owner has left.”
Jay revealed shortly afterwards that he had found the cat’s family. He posted on Facebook, “On a very happy note, I have found my rescued kitty’s family…reunion pending tomorrow.”