Sole Cat Survives South Australia Bushfire Which Destroys Boarding Kennels

One cat survived a bush fire that engulfed a boarding kennels in South Australia. His name is Merlin. He is severely injured.

On January 3 a bushfire destroyed the animal boarding kennels, Tea Tree Gully Boarding Kennels, at which there were dogs and cats.

Merlin Survived
Merlin Survived
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About 40 dogs, and at the time it was believed that all the cats were killed by the fire. Apparently, the dogs and cats were let out of their kennels by the owner before the owner was forced to vacate his property.

The fire ripped through the boarding kennels and the owner’s home. The owners were able to rescue about 40 dogs as one kennel block survived the blaze.

Although it was believed that all the cats were killed in the fire, one cat survived and his name is Merlin. When he was found he was badly dehydrated, malnourished and burnt on his paws, belly and his face. He has fluid on his lungs due to smoke inhalation. He has been described as a magical cat.

He is being cared for at the Adelaide Specialist & Referral Center in Norwood. I also understand that the vet associated with the boarding kennels assisted at some stage in the process. It appears that all veterinary fees are being waived which is wonderful.

Merlin was found in a drain in Inglewood (I believe this is the same area). It appears that he had made his way out of the inferno that was the boarding cattery into a drain and escaped but it took him some time to find the exit which resulted in his severe injuries.

Hundreds of animals are believed to have been killed in the fires which burned, out-of-control in the Adelaide Hills. The fires burned over an area of about 31,000 acres in an area about 30 minutes drive south-east of Adelaide, Australia.

The reports in mainstream online media still state that all the cats at the Tea Tree Gully Boarding Cattery were killed but, as we now know, one survived; found later.

It is rather sad that when the owners of the boarding kennels used social media to share the news of what happened within a short space of time they had to close their sites because hateful comments were posted. They were heavily trolled. I suppose they were criticised for failing to ensure that their animals escaped.

Subsequently, once the facts were made known more fully it appears that many online commentators have come to their defense and supported them but it seems to me that we still do not know the full facts. There appears to be some criticism that they were let out of their cages but that would seem to be the common sense thing to do. It must have been terrifying and to criticize is obviously wrong.

It is sad, for me being a cat lover, that all the cats bar one died whereas a sizable percentage of the dogs survived but that appears to due to chance.

The veterinarians involved require a lot of praise and a big pat on the back because no doubt there will be a lot of veterinary care to bring Merlin back to reasonable health if, indeed, he’s ever able to retain his health in the long term.

4 thoughts on “Sole Cat Survives South Australia Bushfire Which Destroys Boarding Kennels”

  1. Hello Michael
    My first comment on PoC! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and have found a lot of interesting information here. I thought I just had to comment on this one because I live in Australia and I’ve experienced a bushfire. In fact every year we have bushfires in many different parts of the country. I think, like you said we don’t have all the facts about this event, and even if we thought we did, there would be many interpretations. The bushfire I was in was in was frightening. I had my three cats in carriers all ready to evacuate. By the time it seemed critical, we could no longer leave. The roads were all blocked. I’m thankful that the firies kept the fire at bay and there was no loss of life or property. In the case of the boarding kennal in Adelaide, I pass no judgement. I’m so sad for the owners and all the people who lost their pets. (By the way, I don’t think the cats or dogs were let out. They often tell people to stay inside if a fire is sweeping through your area, and to keep your pets inside too.) I have a friend who packed and unpacked her car and evacuated with her pets three or four times one summer because of fires in her area. I can’t imagine a boarding kennel being able to do that with hundreds of animals. And where would they take them? It was a natural disaster, like a flood, or cyclone or tornado. We think we can plan and control nature. Anyway, this was heartbreaking and I’m glad the one little cat was found alive. Many homes were burnt to the ground, but no human lives were lost.

    Reply
    • Thanks Kathleen for taking the time to add your on-the-ground, personal experience and realistic advice. I agree with you. To criticise the owners and troll them is mad. It must have been terrifying anyway with the threat of serious injury or loss of life and the destruction of one’s property looking very possible.

      Bush fires seem to be more common in Australia than in the past which begs the question whether it is a blip in the weather patterns or global warming. If there is such a things as global warming than Australia will suffer while the UK will get warmer thankfully!

      Reply

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