86 Cats Saved From Raging Fire

On the night of March 4, Jackie Mihal had just stepped outside into her backyard to check on her 87 animals when she was shocked to discover a huge wall of flames! 

Mihal is the president of Salty Cats of St. Andrews Rescue, a nonprofit organization in Panama City where she takes in stray, feral, and abandoned cats and not only provides them with medical treatment and spay and neuter procedures, but she ultimately finds them loving forever homes.

“No warning, none. The whole woods was on fire,” Mihal explained.

She acted fast since she had 87 animals who needed to be moved to a safe location. Luckily, good Samaritans in the area were checking to see if anyone needed help evacuating when they came across Mihal’s crates filled with animals and rushed over to help out.

Between the four sets of hands, they were able to successfully place all the animals into crates, out the door, and into a packed trailer, all in about 20 minutes!

“The building was being engulfed in smoke,” Mihal said. “I keep all my windows open and the smoke was pouring in. We didn’t know how much time we’d have before the building went up. I never could have gotten it done if Salmon, Morris, and Trunzo hadn’t been there,” Mihal said.

Mihal took the cats and rabbit to a friend’s home, where they were temporarily staying in a large storage building for safe shelter. The Adkins Avenue fire destroyed many homes in the surrounding area, and many of the animals were extremely traumatized and sustained injuries.

Despite the scary devastation of the Adkins Avenue fire, this miraculous story shows the impact that a helping hand can have in times of need!