Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Hurricanes Florence and Michael Bring Rescued Cats to Pittsburgh C.A.T.


Pittsburgh Aviation and Animal Rescue Team (PAART) has been busy rescuing animals from shelters after recent hurricanes, transporting them safely north to Pittsburgh where HCMT/Pittsburgh C.A.T., among other rescues and shelters, has been taking in the cats they can to give them veterinary care and help them find new homes.

In September PAART transported medical supplies to, and 15 cats and dogs from, North Carolina shelters. HCMT/Pittsburgh C.A.T. took in six cats ranging from 4 months to 13 years old who needed some veterinary care; other rescues helped as well. In October PAART did a 39-cat rescue from the Alachua County Humane Society in Gainesville, Florida where the shelter’s clinic had been destroyed and the building damaged, and the shelter needed space for animals being rescued after the hurricane. HCMT/Pittsburgh C.A.T. took four adult cats from this flight; a total of seven rescues in the Pittsburgh area found space for all 39 cats: Pittsburgh C.A.T., Animal Friends, In Care Of Cats, Paws Across Pittsburgh, Kitty Queen Cat Rescue, Angel Ridge Animal Rescue, and Two Ladies Four Paws Rescue.


This practice is sometimes questioned—rescues and shelters here are already full, and how will people in affected areas find their pets if they were moved? The cats and dogs transported were up for adoption in shelters in the hurricane-hit areas, not animals rescued after the hurricane—in fact, in some cases adoptable pets were transported away so that rescuers had a place to take local pets rescued after the hurricane when their families couldn’t be found, so they could be held safely and treated for any possible injuries until reunited with their families. In other cases the shelters were damaged or destroyed and because of the broad scope of hurricane damage animals can’t transfer to another shelter. Most other local shelters are also out of commission, and even foster homes are unavailable because of widespread damage and evacuations.  The outlook for shelter animals in these situations is bleak, and they may even be euthanized if no one can safely house and care for them.


Margo Cicci, vice president of Homeless Cat Management Team, compared the situation to HCMT and Pittsburgh C.A.T. “Those are our fellow rescuers,” she said. “I would be so thankful for those other rescues to come in and pull a couple animals so that we can help the ones that are truly in crisis at that moment.”

“During a disaster the pressure is on shelters to clear space for incoming pets that were either displaced or surrendered by fleeing residents,” PAART Executive Director Mary Withrow said. At the Alachua County Humane Society, “the clinic was destroyed, the building was damaged so these guys had nowhere to go back to.”



PAART offers a unique service dedicated to rescuing animals including transport from hoarding cases, saving animals from dog fighting rings and natural disasters, and helping overcrowded shelters. They’ve flown up and down the coast and as far west as the Mississippi River, and last year flew their first international mission after Hurricane Maria. In addition to their plane they have a transport van for about 50 animals. They also provide drone service where there is suspected animal abuse, hoarding, or unsafe conditions for animals.

Hurricane Florence rescue and video

Hurricane Michael rescue and video

PAART website

Adopting from Pittsburgh C.A.T.

As these cats come up for adoption you’ll find them on Pittsburgh C.A.T.’s Facebook page and on the Petfinder page. If you are interested, it all starts with an application, which you can find here. All cats available from Pittsburgh C.A.T. are spayed or neutered, tested, vaccinated, wormed, flea treated and microchipped, and they’ve also had any necessary veterinary treatment they need.

Help Pittsburgh C.A.T. help these cats, and rescue even more

If you’d like to help us with the cats in our care, here are 3 ways you can help!

Don’t forget the ringworm cats

Pittsburgh CAT now has six litters of kittens with ringworm! They need your help with supplies.

“In order to treat ringworm, we change out our kittens’ environment every day. We take everything out, clean thoroughly, and give them new towels, new toys, new scratchers, and new training pads under their paws. We empty their litter boxes, throw away all of their litter, and then give them new litter after disinfecting their boxes. They get daily medication and weekly lime dips. That’s why we need so much disinfectant, and so many toys, training pads, and scratchers. They recover much more quickly from ringworm under this regimen!

If you are interested in donating supplies to help Pittsburgh C.A.T. care for their ringworm kittens, you can find the Amazon wishlist here:

Donate for a Discount

Many of my readers have often been generous in helping with the costs associated with rescues and other issues needing funding. My favorite reward program is titled “Donate For a Discount”. I will give you a gift certificate toward shopping on my website in thanks—for every $25.00 you donate in goods or cash I’ll give you a gift certificate for $5.00 off a minimum $25.00 purchase.

Gifts Featuring Cats You Know!

Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals!

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watercolor of black cat on windowsill
“Studio Window, Autumn”, 5.5″ x 8.5″, watercolor © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

My memories of cats sharing my studio with my felines, especially seeing them enjoy the view out the window, are very special. Read more and purchase.


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Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters

Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

Thursday: New Merchandise

Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy

Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats

And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!




From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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