Search for missing cat continues after Pet Paradise fire

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WCAV) — Most of the animals evacuated from the Pet Paradise fire are now recovering at home, including one cat who had been missing. A dog named Bailey who escaped during the fire was found dead on Tuesday, and one cat named Izzy is still missing.

Pet Paradise Regional Director Zach Gould says the company is now focused on finding Izzy. Staff members are setting out cat traps and working with a cat rescue organization in an effort to bring her home safely.

New photos provided by the company show Izzy has extra toes on her rear paws, a condition known as polydactyly. Her front left paw is also unusual and is shaped like a mitten.

Gould says Izzy is shy, and her owner believes noisy search efforts would only frighten the cat into hiding more.

In addition to Bailey, a second elderly dog with a pre-existing heart condition died after the fire. Of the other animals who were injured in the fire, Gould says all but three have gone home.

And he says the owners of pets who required treatment don’t have to worry about veterinary bills.

“We’re going to work with our insurance company for them not to have to worry about themselves,” Gould said.

He said the company is also making sure its employees are taken care of financially while the business is closed, and it has brought in grief counselors and therapy dogs to help staff members who are struggling.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing. Charlottesville Fire Department Captain Joe Phillips says the department is working with Pet Paradise’s insurance investigators.

Phillips said they do not suspect foul play but determining the cause could take weeks.

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