By Elisa Black-Taylor
The Last Chance Cat Ranch located in Lethbridge, Alberta suffered a devastating loss on March 5. Sixty cats were living in the foster house when a fire broke out. I’ll caution the readers right now that you will definitely need a tissue for this article. It was a difficult decision to write this article, but this rescue needs help.
Elizabeth Ginn is the owner of Last Chance, a home that specializes in older cats no one else wants. Elizabeth wasn’t home at the time of the fire. Fortunately her son Silas was, and it’s his heroic act that saved half of the cats in residence. Before fleeing the residence, Silas went through the house opening doors and windows to give the cats a way to escape. He lost everything, including his wallet, to offer the cats a way out.
According to an article on Catster, at least 30 cats died in the fire. The FB auction for last chance cat ranch that burned to the ground page, states that 81 cats lost their lives. I don’t know which figure is correct. The surviving cats are under a vet’s care, with seven or eight listed in critical condition. At least one cat who managed to escape the fire has returned to the ranch. Hopefully more will be found.
Elizabeth and her son are heartbroken. Not only do they have to deal with insurance and the details that will go into rebuilding, they’re having a hard time dealing with the loss of so many little lives. They literally lost everything they had. Here’s a video one of their supporters made.
Rescue groups from all over North America are helping in any way they can. Lethbridge PAW Society (People For Animal Welfare) is collecting donations and is also trying to round up foster homes until the ranch house can be rebuilt.
Although the group is accepting donations, it would be more convenient for those wanting to help to send them Wal-Mart or Costco gift cards. Last Chance Cat Ranch has helped more than 2,500 cats over the years. Now they need help. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Family Pet Hospital on Mayor Magrath Drive is in charge of treatment of 28 injured cats. Many suffer from facial and paw pad burns, eye ulcers and smoke inhalation.
There are several methods available to those of you who wish to contribute. They are:
- To donate directly to Last Chance using Paypal, the address is Donations4lccr@gmail.com
- Family Pet Hospital at (403)320-5200
- Park Ur Paws in Lethbridge is also assisting the family
- The PAW Society is accepting online donations and gift cards and a tax receipt will be sent for online donations. The link is
– (sorry this link is incorrect. It is being investigated). For more information, their website is at www.pawsociety.com. Their physical address is Lethbridge PAW Society, O.O. Box 255, Lethbridge, Alberta, T1J3Y5
- Cash donations are also being accepted at any branch of 1st Choice Savings and Credit Union Ltd. in Lethbridge
If any more information is made available, please list it in the comments. A wish list from Amazon would also be a good idea and I haven’t see that suggested yet.
Let’s keep this family in our thoughts as they try to continue their life’s work after such a tragic accident.
NOTE: This past weekend was when we, in most parts of the U.S., set our clocks ahead an hour. It’s also the time suggested by local fire departments for smoke detector batteries to be replaced. I imagine a lot of people reading this haven’t gotten around to it yet.
After our fire last year, we added several additional smoke detectors, including one with a 10-year battery and one that lights a path. We were very fortunate in that we didn’t lose any cats. Miss Kitty never made it outside. She hid behind the washer. Cats hide when there’s a fire. Thankfully, that was a good place for her since smoke rises. Our Miss Kitty came through with just a bit of smoke on her fur.
Please take this story and determine what your home needs to keep it safe from going through the trauma of losing not only possessions, but your precious cats.