Evanston Animal Shelter volunteers work to find homes for 34 cats rescued in Dewey Avenue fire

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Cats rescued at Evanston Animal Shelter, 2,310 Oakton St. Shelter officers attempted to arrange medical care for 34 cats rescued from the Dewey building. (Courtesy photo of Evanston Animal Shelter)

Evanston Fire Department officials originally reported that up to 15 cats were rescued in a building fire on the 1300 block of Dewey Avenue on Aug. 16, but the number has risen since then.

On August 18, the number is 34, reported Vicky Pasenko, managing director of the Evanston Animal Shelter at 2310 Oakton St.

The shelter’s volunteers are in full response mode in the meantime, taking care of the cats’ medical care and finding them at home.

“A few people from my team were there until 10.30 pm last night and rescued cats from this place,” said Pasenko the day after the fire. The volunteers went back the closest today and found more, pulling animals out of the rubble, she said.

The fire department personnel were particularly helpful and worked with volunteers from the shelter in the rescue, said Pasenko.

Nancy Maize, the cat manager of the animal shelter, will run the shelter; Kristi Bachmann, TNR director (trap, neuter, return); and Natan Lipton-Lubet, the shelter’s operations manager.

“Nancy and Kristi were the ones who worked around the house extracting cats, and Natan transported cats to the shelter and took care of the other logistics,” said Pasenko.

Shelter operators work in a cramped facility on Oakton Street with limited space for the animals the nonprofit group takes in.

Pasenko phoned local vets the day after the fire and tried to arrange medical examinations for the rescued cats.

She said the shelter is also working with other animal shelters in the area to see if they can take in some of the cats. So far, five cats have been given to the Anti-Cruelty Society and three to the Hinsdale Humane Society, Pasenko said.

“The Tree House Humane Society is analyzing their capacities,” she added. “We turn to veterinarians in the area because the veterinarians are already overloaded with patients and we hope to be able to send two or three cats to each of the practices we have contacted.”

Kristi Bachmann (to the left), the TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) director at the Evanston Animal Shelter and Nancy Maize, the cat manager of the shelter, are working to save cats from a fire that was in a residential building on the 1300s block of Dewey erupted Avenue on Aug. 16 (photo courtesy Evanston Animal Shelter)

She said the cats may have to get used to a little before she realizes their condition because, “Regardless of how tame they may have been before, going through the fire department and the fire department is a frightening experience that we consider People would freak out. let alone as a cat. “

The organization, which relies on private donations for funding, has listed some of its needs for the rescue on Facebook.

This included foster care for the current residents of the shelter, to make room for the new cats and money for medical care.

“The cats have a variety of health problems that require medical treatment beyond standard vaccination and spay and neuter surgery,” said Pasenko.

Fire officials said they responded to a call for a building fire in an apartment building on the 1300 block of Dewey Avenue at around 8:45 a.m. on August 16.

Officials reported that the first-responding companies encountered restricted access to the house with heavy smoke and fire on the first floor.

The fire was quickly upgraded to a box alarm, officials said, calling in nearby fire departments to help respond and cover Evanston.

No cause of fire or number of damage was reported.

Fire Chief Paul Polep and Deputy Chief Kimberly Kull did not respond to emails and an Aug. 17 call asking for additional information on Aug. 17.

Those who would like additional information about the Evanston Animal Shelter, including ways to help, can visit the group’s Facebook page or the website at evanstonanimalshelter.net.