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Dozens of cats dead in fire at animal sanctuary in Central Valley

January 1, 2011 | 12:38 pm

A fire at an animal sanctuary in the Central Valley has left dozens of cats dead.

An electrical fire broke out at the Last Hope Cat Kingdom in Atwater at about 1 a.m. Friday, according to Merced County Fire Department spokesman Jose Quintana. Firefighters were able to save about 200 cats from the no-kill animal shelter, but approximately 30 died of smoke inhalation, he said. 

Sanctuary staff could not be reached for comment, but an “urgent call for help” posted on its website asked for donations of items like blankets, dog houses, crates and tarps.

-- Abigail Sewell