Wave of relief causes heroic cat rescuer in Camp Fire war zone to break down

This is a sequel to the wonderful story of Shannon Jay who is a 54-year-old man and an expert in rescuing cats under the most difficult of conditions. He has a heart of gold combined with an incredible level of commitment.

He was driving through the “war zone” of the Camp Fire devastation with his cinematographer friend Douglas Thron (a great guy too) when he heard the faint meow of a cat who had survived the fire and was hiding under a burnt out truck. Everything is filthy and covered in ash.

This infamous California blaze has destroyed more than 12,000 homes and left 88 dead, we are told.

Jay executed a very difficult cat rescue from under the burnt out vehicle. He had to be dynamic and quick. The cat could have run off and then what? A wave of emotion came over him after he had made the rescue and the cat safely placed into a carrier. The emotion came from a release of the tension of the moment and the relief that he had not let down this cat.

“It was extreme pressure having her life in my hands, in such an emotionally charged event. When I broke down, it was a wave of relief as I knew my actions in that compressed timeframe were going to determine the rest of her life – I simply couldn’t fail her.”

Shannon had become emotionally and mentally taxed by being exposed to this war zone-like environment for such a lengthy time.

Shannon Jay pulls Mama out from under the burnt out truck
Shannon Jay pulls Mama out from under the burnt out truck. by Douglas Thron cinematographer.

Shannon Jay is good with words too!

Shannon is motivated to go and search for abandoned animals because he wants to give people hope and of course he is a cat lover.

“So many people lost everything in the fires, and if I can ease that by bringing home something so precious, they had thought they had lost – that gives folks hope.”

Shannon also said:

“They have lost it all and are living in seas of darkness, but when you rescue their cat, suddenly that cat becomes a beacon of light to bring them back from the darkness. The enormity of having possibly one chance to save her life was no small thing.” – Shannon is great with words too.

Mama is okay

The cat that you see in the video is named Mama. She suffered severe burns to all four of her paws. In addition her coat was covered in fuel when she was found. Mama was rushed to a nearby veterinarian and treated for her injuries. She is expected to make a full recovery.

Mama has been reunited with her family but as I understand it she is still at an animal hospital where her family visits to check up on her.

Shannon will continue to spend the next 12 months working in the burnt out area conducting rescues. He will also assist in restoring the area. There are hundreds of animals still missing so there is more work to do. And more than 200 people are still missing after the fires which is regarded as the worst in California’s history.

Video by Douglas Thron who did a fantastic job.

The Daily Mail is the source of this story.

3 thoughts on “Wave of relief causes heroic cat rescuer in Camp Fire war zone to break down”

  1. I hope that Shannon has someone to care for him and rescue him from the extreme emotional harm that this incredible work can cause. He deserves more than a brief moment to decompress. I am in awe of him.

    The world needs more Shannons

    My two woke up and came running when they heard Mama’s distress cries.

    • I am in awe of him too. He is such a great guy. I am sure he has his failings like all of us but what a heart for cat rescue. Gutsy and committed. He was black from the dirt.


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