Routt County Humane Society seeks help after house fire displaces more than two dozen cats

Two kittens who were previously up for adoption at the Routt County Humane Society are shown in this photograph. The Humane Society is looking for donations after taking in 25 cats from a house fire on Thursday, Jan. 19, in Hayden.
Katie Berning/Steamboat Pilot & Today archive

The Routt County Humane Society is accepting donations after the nonprofit took in 25 cats from last week’s house fire in Hayden.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze at the mobile home on West Jefferson Avenue on Thursday, Jan. 19, but the damage was extensive. The cause of the fire was thought to be electrical, and firefighters reported rescuing more than a dozen cats from the blaze. Two first-responders also suffered minor injuries, but their injuries were not described as serious.

According to Elaine Hicks, executive director of the Routt County Humane Society, the local nonprofit organization actually took in 25 cats, including five neonates and two nursing mommas, as a result of the house fire.

Prior to the fire, the Routt County Humane Society had 17 cats at the facility, Hicks said. The organization has the capacity to house about 40 felines and the Humane Society had to transfer nine cats to another shelter to make room for its latest intake.

Hicks also reported that several of the adult cats suffered from smoke inhalation, while a few had minor burns. Hicks said veterinarian Fane Cross worked to examine all of the cats and provide treatment to the ones in need, and at least one cat required emergency care.

Because of the cats’ ongoing medical needs, Hicks said the Humane Society would greatly appreciate any donations toward their medical treatment. Additionally, the Humane Society could use any donations of clumping cat litter and Diamond Natural Adult cat food, as well as canned cat food.

“We can’t thank you enough for supporting RCHS in this time of need,” Hicks said.

Following the fire, Hicks wanted to give “a huge shoutout” to Routt County Humane Society volunteer Kiyomi Bolick, who helped rescue the cats, took them to the shelter and is fostering the newborns. Hicks also thanked Sgt. Shawn Hockaday of the Hayden Police Department for his help in this situation.

“It takes a village to keep our community pets and people safe and healthy,” Hicks said.

Hicks added that the Humane Society offers affordable spay and neutering services.

“Cats multiply at an astronomical rate, and I think that’s part of what happened here, is just that the population got out of control,” Hicks said. “We also have affordable vaccines and veterinary care, so for folks who the cost of sterilization may be too much for them, we do have resources available.”

For more about the Routt County Humane Society or to make a donation, go to Donations can also be dropped off at the shelter, 760 Critter Court, in Steamboat Springs.

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