The East Greenwich Animal Protection League is seeking donations to help cover nearly $1,500 in medical costs for three two-week-old kittens rescued from a house fire in Cranston last Friday.
According to Cranston Fire Deputy Stephen MacIntosh, the house fire at 37 Briggs Street originated in a first-floor bedroom late Friday morning. The call came in around 11:20 a.m., with Station Three responding along with Engine 5, who happened to be in the area. Engine 2 also responded. The fire was contained in about 15 minutes.
There is significant damage to the property, including broken windows, tremendous smoke damage and water damage, although the fire was predominantly contained in the bedroom. The home is a rental property, and there were other animals reported, but all were safe, according to MacIntosh; no residents were home when the fire broke out.
“Initially, we had the report about the cats. We found the cat carrier with the mom and kittens,” said MacIntosh, who was on the scene. “We did lose the mother and one of the kittens.”
The other three kittens were treated on the scene by firefighters.
“They were moving slightly,” said MacIntosh. “We have a mask that helps animals. It goes right over their face.” He went on to say they moved the oxygen mask between the three remaining kittens until they were taken for medical care. They were responding well to the oxygen.
An acquaintance of the league’s president, Tammy Flanagan, happened to be in the area when the fire broke out. He spoke with first responders and learned the kittens were being treated on the scene. When they were unable to contact animal control, Flanagan was called.
“Immediately, I headed there,” said Flanagan. “They were still being treated with oxygen when I arrived.”
She brought the kittens to Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in East Greenwich to receive treatment. The kittens, who were named Police, Fire and Rescue in honor of those who saved them, spent two nights at Ocean State receiving oxygen, eye medication and one was kept on an IV because he was not eating properly. One kitten also had carbon monoxide poisoning. As of Monday afternoon, the medical care costs totaled $1,500. The kittens have since been moved to foster care with a professional to care for them.
“Right now, they are doing good. They’re in foster with a professional bottle feeder,” said Flanagan. They have begun to try eating on their own out of a bowl. “They are very cute,” added Flanagan.
The kittens are now in the care of East Greenwich Animal Protection League; the owner surrendered them at the scene of the fire to Flanagan.
“She [the owner] surrendered them because she had no means to care for them,” said Flanagan, who is waiting to reconnect with the owner to sign final paperwork.
For the moment, the Protection League is seeking monetary donations to help cover medical costs. Flanagan estimates the kittens will remain in their current foster home until they are about four weeks old and can eat out of a bowl on their own with no issue. At that point, they will need to be placed in a second foster home for post-care. Flanagan is looking to keep the three kittens together until they are eight weeks old and available for adoption.
“We are looking to keep them together until they are officially adopted. They do better being able to socialize. They like to cuddle up together,” said Flanagan.
Flanagan is also looking for the stations that responded to the fire to thank them for providing oxygen to the kittens on the scene.
“They saved those three kittens’ lives,” she said.
Donations for the kittens can be submitted online to East Greenwich Animal Protection League at www.egapl.org using the Donate button on the homepage. Donations can also be mailed to the East Greenwich Animal Hospital, Attn: East Greenwich Animal Protection League 4302 Post Road East Greenwich, RI 02818.