The cat will soon reunite with its family, who have relocated to Missouri

By Robyn Merrett
March 08, 2019 11:20 PM
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ABC10

It’s a miracle!

Nearly four months after the Camp Fire devasted Northern California, a missing cat, who lived in the fire zone, has been rescued.

Just over a mile from the remains of his home, 2-year-old Dexter was found by Leslie Berard-Zaletel, a volunteer with FieldHaven Center and Camp Fire Pet Rescue and Reunification, ABC 10 reported.

Since the fire, Berard-Zaletel has been feeding and rescuing cats she’s come across following the tragic disaster.

When she came across Dexter, the feline was micro-chipped and the rescue center was able to get in contact with his family.

“We called them almost immediately, giving them the good news, and they were astounded that he survived,” Joy Smith, President and Executive Director for FieldHaven Feline Center told ABC 10.

Dexter’s owners told CBS Sacramento that not one day went by that they didn’t think about their beloved pet.

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“We had like five minutes to get out of the house,” Dexter’s owners Paul and Sandra Ritchie told the outlet.

When it was time to evacuate, the Ritchies were able to gather up three of their cats, but Dexter couldn’t be found.

“I myself had horrible thoughts about him burning up in the fire,” Paul told CBS Sacramento.

When they got the call that Dexter had been located, they were speechless. “I said what? It was pretty emotional,” Paul told the outlet.

Friday morning, Dexter boarded a flight to Missouri to be reunited with his family.

“It’s going to be unbelievable. I think I’m going to just stand there and cry and want to hug him,” Sandra told CBS Sacramento.

Dexter isn’t the only cat to be rescued by FieldHaven Feline Center.

“Reach out to us, or to any groups, because there are still hundreds of cats being found in the fire zone,” Smith told ABC 10. “All of them deserve to be reunited with their families.”

In November 2018, the Camp Fire was 100 percent contained after first sparking on Nov. 8 and burning across more than 153,00 acres, according to Cal Fire. The fire left 85 dead and 249 people injured, Cal Fire reported.