Mo. Fire Scorches Home With 62 Cats

BELTON, Mo. --


A house fire that raged through a Belton home filled with 62 foster cats, killed some of the cats and forced others back to a shelter or new homes.

The homeowner Tina Sands rescued cats and was also a foster home for two local organizations that worked to keep cats out of shelters where they euthanize the animals.

In the fire 17 cats were killed and many more suffered from smoke inhalation.

"It was very sad," neighbor Linda Day said. "Everyone in the neighborhood was worried and came out to see what they could do."

Day said when the house went up in flames, neighbors poured out of their homes. Day said firefighters worked hard to try and save as many cats as they could.

Sands worked with No More Homeless Pets KC, an organization set up to help find foster homes for animals.

"She was trying to do right thing," Gail Longstaff, No More Homeless Pets KC, said. "It's emotionally difficult."

Longstaff said some of the cats that died in the fire came from their program. She said it's a devastating loss for the program and now Sands is in trouble with the city for having so many cats.

City ordinance allows a maximum of four animals per home. Longstaff said Sands was in the process of getting her shelter license and nonprofit status.

The cats Sands once cared for could be without a home indefinitely and foster pet organizations could have one less person to turn to for help.

"This was a good thing happening and not one to be punished," Longstaff said.

Fire Burns Home Filled With Cats


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