On August 24th a 6.2-manitude earthquake struck central Italy, killing almost 300 people and completely reducing homes, businesses, and community landmarks to rubble. As Italian residents struggle to cope with the aftermath, there have been glimmers of hope in the form of animal casualties pulled to safety.
Meet Pietro, a cat from the Italian town of Amatrice. Pietro was rescued from the quake's rubble sixteen days after the natural disaster hit. Firefighters scouting the area heard his faint meows and worked tirelessly to free the frightened feline, who it is thought survived thanks to the rainwater he drank while he was trapped. Following his release, Pietro was taken to a vet in nearby Rieti. Revealing that the cat was well aside from severe dehydration, rescuers announced that cats surely must have nine lives – and we tend to agree.
Pietro was not the first pet to have been pulled alive from the rubble and he may not be the last. Romeo, a Golden Retriever given up for dead, was rescued nine days following the quake, and was filmed slurping water from his rescuer’s water bottle some 230 hours after the quake had hit.
Other canine heroes of the earthquake have been the search and rescue dogs, including one named Leo that found the first, and only, human survivor – a little girl who had been sheltered from harm by her older sister, who sadly perished.
Our thoughts are with the animals affected by this tragedy, as well as their pet parents, and the communities fighting to rebuild themselves.