Groups help rescue animals after Sevier County wildfires

Wildfire on Chimney Top in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Courtesy: WATE/Report It! Chris Higgins)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – Groups have been working to round up and rescue house pets that wandered away or had to be left behind after the wildfires in Sevier County.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shared on its Facebook page that while its agents have been assisting with the search and recovery efforts, two agents came across a badly injured cat.

Knowing how many people are searching for their pets, agents called Animal Control and rescued the cat from the debris of a burned home.

Animal Control took the animal to the Sevier County Fairgrounds where volunteers and veterinarians are treating injured pets.

The cat, being called Trudy, is doing well and on the mend. TBI agents hope she will soon be reunited with her owner.

Martha Gilchrist with the Sevier County Humane Society says there are so many pets and so many questions at the makeshift shelter.

Dogs and cats are scared, confused and in some cases, have injuries, burned paws or whiskers.

“He looks like he’s spotted black and white, but the black is actually singed,” she said of one animal.

Volunteers have a hard time knowing what these pets went through and where they’ve wandered from.

“We wish they could come in and tell us their stories, but they can’t,” Gilchrist said. “They don’t understand what’s happened, and try as we might, we can’t explain it to them. And they miss their family.”

Saturday was one of the busiest days.

“It may have been people were able to get to their homes and find strays,” Gilchrist explained.

Volunteers are asking that families missing a pet to come by the fairgrounds and bring pictures. Until then, also search social media.

Twelve pets have been reunited with their owners so far.

The Sevier County Humane Society needs donations of water bowls, cat beds, towels, water and more. They are not turning away any donations.

Click here for continuing coverage of the Sevier County wildfire.