Animals across Sevier County became orphans after deadly wildfires ripped through the area last month. Many volunteers continue to help care for those animals.
Knoxville veterinarian Cristi Moser, of the Bluegrass Animal Hospital, volunteered with the Sevier County Humane Society following the Nov. 28 fires. She's now welcoming home Ellie, a cat that survived an up-close encounter with those flames.
"She got her whiskers burned, her eyelids burned, and her ears burned," said Moser, describing the cat’s injuries.
Moser met Ellie while volunteering with the Sevier County Humane Society. The group built a makeshift animal shelter at the county fairgrounds after last month’s fires damaged their building.
So far 17 cats and 2 dogs have been sent from their shelter to UT's animal hospital to be treated for burns. Thanks to the work of volunteers, vets, and technicians pets who've lost their homes are getting a second chance.
"She's super sweet, she's a little old cat and I just fell in love with her,” said Moser, explaining why she took Ellie home.
The fight isn't over for Ellie. She's going to stay in Knoxville while recovering. Besides her burns, she also suffers from kidney disease.
The Humane Society says about 75 animals are still in the shelter waiting for new homes. For her new owner, giving Ellie a new home is a small gesture to help when so many animals are still in need.
"I can't save all the cats in Sevier County, I can't save all the cats in Knox County. But I can save Ellie,” said Moser.
The Sevier County Humane Society is still looking for volunteers and monetary donations. If you've worked in a vet's office, animal shelter or boarding facility they could use your help. If you're available head to their Facebook page to sign up and help out.