Bronx Hearth Victims Reunited with Their Valuable “Puma”

The ASPCA’s Luisa Germain with Dana and Puma, and Dana’s niece, Talia.

On Saturday, January 8, Dana C.’s 14-yr-outdated son, Choose, had invited 8 of his friends to the family’s Bronx condominium to rejoice his birthday and commit the night time. 4 of Judge’s teenage siblings and a cousin were being also there, as was the family’s 5-12 months-previous, black-and-white cat, Puma.

The following morning, just before 11 A.M., smoke alarms sounded in their creating. When the small children smelled smoke, they phoned Dana at perform, who advised them to evacuate. The teenagers broke a window so they could bounce to safety.

Marqui, Dana’s eldest son, employed a mattress to safely and securely catch the 9 who jumped. Firefighters rescued the other 3, and afterwards traced the fire’s trigger to a defective place heater in a 3rd-ground condominium.

But Puma, whom every person experienced frantically experimented with to find ahead of leaping to security, was missing.

Searching for Puma

The night of the fire, at the ask for of NYC Emergency Management, the ASPCA Group Engagement team despatched 3 staff customers with supply kits to a source heart at a faculty positioned across the street from Dana’s creating.

Whilst there, Colleen Doherty, Senior Director of Local community Engagement, and Jessica Sweeney, Senior Software Manager, ended up approached by Dana and two other people reporting misplaced pets.

Left: Zina Robbins-Maldonado, Group Engagement Coordinator, at the source centre correct, fliers ended up posted by the ASPCA.

Jessica took Dana’s facts and asked the place Puma may be hiding so responders could search for her. The ASPCA served Dana file a shed pet report with Animal Treatment Facilities of NYC and produced and posted fliers within a 4-block radius of the building. Details was also posted on two nearby Fb teams for dropped and located pets.

Thirteen ASPCA staff associates rotated shifts at the resource centre until finally January 21. Through that time, in excess of 80 pets acquired materials, and 12 were being scheduled for veterinary appointments—primarily for smoke inhalation—at the ASPCA Animal Hospital and companion clinics.

But even with many attempts to locate Puma, she was nowhere to be observed.

Discovered, Then Shed

In accordance to area information reviews, the fire at 333 East 181st Road was the most lethal in New York Town in a few many years. Seventeen people today died of smoke inhalation, such as 8 children 44 had been wounded. The tale created national news.

“Some of my neighbors didn’t endure,” Dana suggests. “Others shed their pets.”

All the things in Dana’s condominium was ruined.

“We made it out only with what we have been wearing that early morning,” she claims.

On January 26, Dana was escorted again to her condominium for a rapid go to and was elated to discover a anxious Puma hiding beneath a blanket on her mattress. She had sustained herself by ripping open up a bag of dry cat foodstuff.

But when firefighters confirmed up in the home to check on Dana, Puma dashed away.

“We have been forced to leave her driving once again,” states Dana, who designed confident Puma experienced entry to meals and drinking water before she left.

A Family members Reunited

On February 22, Luisa Germain, Group Cats Manager, and Kerrin Williams, Placement and Transportation Coordinator, established a humane trap in the hallway of Dana’s condominium and baited it with sardines in olive oil. They notified a safety guard who listened to the lure spring 20 minutes later on. 

Still left: The humane lure set to catch Puma proper, Luisa Germain, Community Cats Supervisor, with Puma on the way to be reunited with her family.

“Dana was presently on her way to the apartment to retrieve Puma, so she saved Puma in the entice, covered with a towel till they were indoors in a safe and sound place,” describes Luisa.

“Once Puma was pleasant and warm and experienced her relatives around her, she was back again to her old self,” suggests Dana.

The relatives of seven—including Dana’s niece, Talia—are presently living in a lodge while Dana, who works for the New York Town Parks Office, looks for a new condominium.

“Puma indicates every little thing to us,” Dana provides. “She’s a real trooper, to survive a month in that condominium. She’s not just a pet—she’s household. She’s our newborn.”

The ASPCA produced preparations to have Puma witnessed by Paisley Manga, Grooming Specialist, for cleaning that provided a nail trim.

ASPCA Grooming Specialist, Paisley Manga, provides Puma a spa day that consists of a nail trim.

Possessing Puma again is one particular of the few brilliant spots in what Dana describes as a nightmare.

“It was the most horrific factor we have at any time been via, and the devastation is likely to linger for a long, prolonged time,” Dana suggests. “But I’m grateful we have Puma and are able to rebuild our life.”