Health Advice



Cougar cubs, raccoons, kitty cats. After rehab, animals hurt by fires find new homes

By Faith E. Pinho, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Health & Fitness

California's record wildfire season may not be completely over, but the trauma is ending for some of the state's most vulnerable inhabitants: animals rescued from the blazes.

Several animals found injured during wildfires this year have recovered and will soon be welcomed into new homes.

One happy caregiver welcomed home her "semi-feral" cat, Ned, after he spent three months recovering from burns to his feet, face, ears, hind leg and tail at the hospital at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

The cat was rescued at Linda Kearney's property in Vacaville, where he escaped from the LNU Lightning Complex fire, according to a UC Davis news release. Kearney managed to save 12 other cats that had been on her property, but one died and another remains missing. She plans to build sheds to house the animals on her property, according to the release.

"Being semi-feral, Ned was not always a cooperative patient," said Kate Hopper, director of UC Davis' Small Animal Clinic, in a statement. "His care team did a stellar job powering through that daily adversity to make sure he fully recovered."

UC Davis treated more than 1,000 animals, both wild and domestic, affected by the LNU Lightning Complex fire, according to its website. Spokesman Rob Warren said the hospital responded to another 1,200-plus victims of the North Complex fire.


Many of the animals evaluated were deemed to be healthy and were moved to evacuation centers or sheltered in place, Warren said. The worst cases were brought to the university hospital for treatment — a total of 97 from both fires, similar to numbers in previous years, Warren said.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife treated fewer than 10 animals for burns this wildfire season, said spokeswoman Kirsten Macintyre.

On the wilder side, a raccoon dubbed Burnie was rescued from the Blue Ridge fire near Anaheim. The raccoon, estimated to be between 2 and 3 years old, arrived at the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach on Nov. 2 covered in smoke and soot, said executive director Debbie McGuire.

A property owner had hired a trapper to catch another animal, but the raccoon had gotten stuck in it. McGuire couldn't confirm how long the raccoon had been stuck there, or how close the fire had come to it.


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