Animal control officer saves 45 cats from shelter fire

NEWS AND COMMENT-LAREDO ANIMAL CARE SERVICES, TX: The reporting is a little sketchy but the story is good. An animal control officer, Jose Aranda (also reported as Jesus Aranda) has been recognised by the Laredo City Council for his quick thinking and bravery in saving the lives of 45 shelter cats from a fire at the Laredo Animal Care Services cat shelter.

Jose Aranda recognised for his bravery in saving the lives of 45 cats at the Laredo cat shelter fire
Jose Aranda recognised for his bravery in saving the lives of 45 cats at the Laredo cat shelter fire. Photo: Danny Zaragoza /Laredo Morning Times.


The rescue occurred in the early part of January 2022. It was quite late at 10 PM according to the reports. Aranda was at the shelter to process some animals when he noticed smoke coming from the roof of the building in the cat shelter section.

Rather than call the fire department and wait, he took action himself. He opened the door to the shelter. There was excessive heat and smoke. He saw the cats and realised that unless he released them immediately, they would probably die.

"I proceeded to open the door and saw a bunch of cats in there, so I started releasing the cat before they got burned".

He was taken to hospital afterwards for smoke inhalation and the consequences of being exposed to excessive heat.

We don't know what happened to the cats except that they were saved and, apparently, they've not been lost. The point is that he released them but we don't know where they went to. My guess is that they went to other parts of the shelter that was safe and where there was no fire. The fire only affected the cat shelter part.

His son, Jesus Aranda Jr., was happy that his dad had saved the cats. He loves cats and they have two at home.

Aranda said that he loves his job and that if he was another person, meaning not an animal control officer he probably wouldn't have gone on to save the animals. He said that he could have waited until the fire department came. If he did that it is likely the cats would have been killed, he said.

Comment: I think that this is the largest number of cats saved from a fire. It is certainly the largest number reported in the news media over many years. I read the cat news every day as supplied by Bing News. Well done to him. It is sad to report that often in house fires the homeowner gets out but the cats die in the fire. This is a natural consequence of two things (1) cats hiding and therefore being difficult to find and (2) people prioritising, understandably, their safety before anything else.

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