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Volunteers work to reunite more than 70 cats with families after North Bay fires

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Jennifer Petruska and her organization, Pet Rescue and Reunification, have already found 70 cats in Santa Rosa neighborhoods, reuniting them with families who thought their beloved pets had died in the fires. (KGO-TV)

Almost four months after the devastating North Bay wildfires, a search and rescue mission continues for missing cats lost in the blaze. Hundreds of volunteers are working around the clock to reunite these felines with their owners.

RELATED: Facebook page helps reunite North Bay fire victims with pets

"We never leave these unattended for any length of time," said Erika Whittemore, who attempted to catch a cat with some fish-flavored food and a trap.

She'll be out in Santa Rosa's burned-out Coffey Park neighborhood all night long with hopes that a lost cat wanders in.

"They're out here alone and scared," Whittemore said. "They want to go home and be home."

"Once I trapped my first cat I was hooked," said Jennifer Petruska, who started Pet Rescue and Reunification by herself. "The goal, in the beginning, was just to feed the animals, while everybody got collected I didn't plan on this being a huge venture."

RELATED: A look back at families reunited with their pets after North Bay fires

Most lost dogs were found after the fire but many cats took off running. Now, hundreds of volunteers have joined Petruska from Napa to Santa Rosa looking for missing felines -- and finding them.

"I'd say we've caught about 70 and reunited about half that," Petruska told ABC7 News.

The organization's Facebook page showcases many of the touching reunions.
Click here for more stories, photos, and video on the North Bay fires.

Related Topics:
pets-animalscatsNorth Bay Firesfirefightersvolunteerismfirepetpet rescuegood newsanimal rescuesocial mediaSanta Rosa
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