BAILEY, Colo. -- A Colorado couple who lost everything in a fire last month finally got a piece of good news.
The couple runs a sanctuary out of their home for special needs cats. The cats have medical conditions that do not make them eligible for adoption. Without the sanctuary, they would be euthanized.
“I’ve always had animals, but the ones with special needs are different. So, they mean everything,” LuAnn Pierce said after the fire last month.
The fire destroyed the home, the sanctuary and all of their belongings. Three cats were also missing after the fire.
“People that saw the newscast just started calling and calling offering all kinds of things from clothes to money to shoes to traps that we could use to try and catch the cats,” Pierce said.
Pierce and her husband Chris Brown searched daily for the missing cats, and said they began to lose hope as the temperatures dropped.
“By Christmas I was sort of given up,” she said.
On Monday, the couple received a phone call from a neighbor about a cat wandering around matching the description of one of the missing cats. Sammie is brown with stripes and is missing her tail.
“We looked in the trap and there she was. The great big eyes looking back at us,” Pierce said.
Sammie survived a month in the cold wilderness, a miracle considering she has Manx Syndrome. The medical condition does not allow her to relieve her bladder or bowels without human intervention. Had she contracted an infection, she could have turned septic and died.
“Heaven knows how many of those nine lives she used up this last month,” Brown said.
She now weighs 4 1/2 pounds, which is almost half her original weight.
The couple took Sammie to the emergency veterinarian Monday night. Aside from being malnourished and dehydrated, she was given a clean bill of health and released home.
“I was afraid that she out of the three wouldn’t survive and she’s tougher than we thought I guess,” Pierce said.
The couple said they are more hopeful than ever that the remaining two cats will find their way home too.
“We’re hoping she’s going to let us know where the other two are hiding,” Pierce said.