The town of Paradise in northern California has been devastated by the wildfire. A tabby cat was found in the ruins and according to animal activists, she has died.
The cat was nicknamed Billiegirl after the road where she was found on Sunday. The social media post that announced the discovery was shared worldwide because it was such a miraculous rescue. Unfortunately, the cat did not survive its injuries.
California Wildfire Pets, an organized group of animal lovers in California has been taking on the task of reuniting lost animals with their owners. They announced the sad news on Facebook.
Earlier, they had posted: ‘Are you missing an orange tabby kitty from the area of Billie Rd in Paradise?’ with a picture of the cat in the hope its family could be found.
Billiegirl became the token face of the thousands of animals who have died as a result of the deadly wildfires in California. Others were rescued or managed to escape but the inferno has had a devastating impact on wildlife.
Animal clinics and rescue efforts have resulted in many heartbreaking images. They include a rabbit who had its ears burned off, a cat in a makeshift incubator and emergency workers trying to move animals from the edge of the fires.
The Camp Fire is the latest in a number of California fires and it is devastating areas of northern California. The Woolsey Fire is burning in the South near Malibu. Both fires have forced residents to take flight, leaving behind their homes and possessions. Many people had to leave so quickly that they couldn’t gather their pets.
The human death toll in the Camp Fire has reached well over 40 by Tuesday morning. The flames also took over 7000 homes and buildings. It is now the deadliest and most destructive wildfire that has occurred in recorded history in California.
There is no way of knowing how many wild animals and pets have been killed or injured as a result of the wildfires. They have been out of control since Thursday and it is thought to be in the thousands.
The evacuation orders often came so quickly that animals were abandoned. This includes farm animals, horses, dogs and cats. Many people underestimated the damaging effects of the wildfires.
Northern California is also home to many wild animals, including black bears, deer, Elks, cougars and bobcats. The Camp Fire is burning in the Butte County area and there are a number of wildlife sanctuaries included in the affected acreage.
Both volunteers and professionals have done their best to rescue as many animals as they could. Donations from animal lovers around the world have poured in to help, including from actress, Sandra Bullock.
She has donated $100,000 to the Humane Society of Ventura County, which announced the influx of money on their Facebook page.
‘Our efforts for rescuing and caring for evacuated animals from the Hill and Woolsey fires had caught her [Ms Bullock’s] attention and her team reached out to the shelter to show their support,’ the organization, which operates in southern California, wrote.
Sandra Bullock and her family have reached out to other nonprofit organizations both during this incident and in the past.
‘However, this time she wanted to contribute to those on the frontline rescuing animals in peril and hope others will choose to do the same.’
‘The HSVC pledges to care for these animals for as long as is needed or until their owners feel comfortable in safely reuniting their families.’
The Butte County Fairgrounds is also the home of a makeshift animal clinic. It is located 30 miles south of Paradise and emergency service veterinarians were helping animals, including dogs with burnt fur and paws.
The fairgrounds have also been a shelter for horses and goats as the wildfire burns through the area, fueled by high winds in the county.
Capt. Steve Millosovich, from Big Bend, carried a cage full of cats that were abandoned in the road during the fire.
Celebrities have also jumped on negative news, including Ariel Winter and Khloe Kardashian. They talked about a wine estate in Malibu who had abandoned a giraffe.
Malibu Wines is home to a few exotic animals and according to some reports, they had to abandon Stanley the giraffe when the fires were getting close.
Some of the pictures that came from his enclosure show him standing nearby to scorched-earth with the flames in the background.
The ranch owned by Malibu wine released a statement about the animals being evacuated. Some activists have disputed that statement, including Whitney Cummings, who went to the site on Saturday and said that Stanley was still in his pen.
The ranch made the statement that the animals had survived but several buildings were destroyed or damaged.
Many pet owners in California have gone on social media to try to be reconnected with pets that were left in the wildfires. A number of Facebook groups, including Cowboy 911 and Camp Fire Pet Rescue and Reunification are now receiving an inundation of posts.
Many people are looking for their cats, dogs, horses and many other animals that had to be left behind when they received an urgent evacuation order last week.
Many of those posts are being shared online that include pictures of animals in happier times. The owners often express their hope that they will once again be reunited with those animals.
‘Our pug Nahla was trapped in the house, if she is found or was rescued please contact me. She is very loved, she is our baby,’ as a caption to a picture of an adorable pug wearing a a pink flower tiara around her waist.
‘House is gone. Hoping they got out,’ another writes on a post urging anyone who has spotted eight pets including a dachshund puppy and a labrador, to get in touch.
There is also a large pig named Sumo who is still missing from Chico, California.
Veterinary centers and sanctuaries in the area of the fires are also posting pictures of animals that have been saved. Some have serious injuries and they are trying to track down the owners.
There have been a number of positive stories that have come out of this, including a female cat that was badly injured in Paradise, California.
The owner was able to identify the cat because of its markings.