A heartwarming video shows the moment that a woman first lays eyes on the beloved cat she feared she had lost forever in Northern California’s devastating Camp fire.
Laci Ping and husband Curtis Mullins took their gray tabby, Mayson, with them when they evacuated. But Mayson escaped from his cat carrier and sprinted away after an explosion startled him, according to a news release from the University of California, Davis.
Luck was on Mayson’s side. Firefighters rescued him and, along with 22 other cats, delivered him to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital on Monday. Ping saw his photo in a Facebook post and the couple went to the school to reunite with their pet.
“It’s OK, I got you,” Ping can be heard saying through tears as she cradles Mayson, whose burnt feet were covered in bandages. He’ll remain at the hospital to recover for another week.
The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is one of many places in California where pets lost or injured in the state’s multiple wildfires are now receiving care, and workers are scrambling to reunite them with their families.
Many people who get separated from their pets during wildfires did not intentionally leave them behind. Since wildfires move so quickly, people who are at work or otherwise not home when the flames break out often can’t get back in time to rescue their animals. Others, like Ping and Mullins, attempt to evacuate with their pets but become separated during the chaotic process. Veterinarian Karen Blount told HuffPost last year that cats are especially apt to “bolt” in a frightening situation like a fire.
Organizations that are housing pets rescued from the Camp fire include the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (which is holding animals at the Chico Airport), the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the San Francisco SPCA, San Francisco Animal Care and Control, the Butte County Humane Society and the VCA Valley Oak Veterinary Center.
Among the groups housing pets rescued from wildfires in Southern California, including the Woolsey and Hill fires, are the Humane Society of Ventura County, the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control and the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA.
Many of these organizations are posting photo albums of rescued pets on social media or their own websites. People searching for lost pets are generally encouraged to visit locations in person, since seriously burned animals may look very different in photos.