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2 women help search for missing cats in Knob Hill Apartments fire

Missing cats from Knob Hill Apartment fire
Posted at 9:41 AM, Jan 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-02 12:31:27-05

OKEMOS, Mich. — As the 36 families affected by the Knob Hill Apartment fire on Dec. 21 are working to recover, the community continues to rally around those in need.

Sara Brockmiller and TK Willow, both volunteers with Saved by Zade, are taking their love for cats and trying to help the four families missing their pets get answers.

“I'm trying to help the families that have been devastated by this fire at Knob Hill, look for their cats that are missing in the fire," Brockmiller said.

Every night since the fire, Brockmiller and Willow can be found near the burnt remains at Knob Hill Apartments.

“Your mind races and wonders, like what can I do to help? What can I do to help when you have disaster response teams and emergency management officials through the county who are handling all of the stuff," Willow said.

They figured they could help by searching for the five cats that went missing after the fire.

“Max and Missy, Ollivander, Mittens and Vash," Willow said. "They're all the cats that we know of that are missing.”

“I just thought, what if it was me, you know, I would want someone to help me look for them too," Brockmiller said.

They set up shelters and tied clothes from one of the families of the cats, so the cats can track their scent back to the building.

“We have some shelters, and we also have a feeding station," Brockmiller said. "We have several sub-shelters all around the fence area and a little bit back in the tree line and everything too.”

Willow also set up cameras along the property looking for any sign of movement.

“Two wireless cell cams and then five regular trail cams," Willow said. “Now that things have quieted down, we're kind of getting into that pattern of coming out every night putting food out watching the area, and I've been keeping residents updated on progress that we've made. Although it's very slow, every day is different.”

Several nights ago, they were given a glimmer of hope finding cat tracks in the snow.

“We moved trail cams to see what was walking through there, and it’s just a waiting game to identify what’s coming and going," Willow said.

But so far, they haven't seen anything come by on the cameras.

“If they're out there, we will find them," Willow said. "It's just a waiting game.”

Willow and Brockmiller said they know other people want to help, but those who aren't experienced in trapping cats might cause more harm.

“They're hiding, they're afraid and they're confused because they're inside cats," Brockmiller said. "So more humans around, more human people calling for them, it's just going to make them hide and be scared even longer and not want to come out.”

So they say leave it to them because they aren't giving up any time soon.

“If they are out there, we will find them," Brockmiller said. "That's all we can do is try our best and that's what we're doing.”

“We're in it for the long haul to get answers for these families so that they can either grieve properly or celebrate a reunion,” Willow said.

Brockmiller and Willow are both experienced cat trappers.

Anyone who wants to help in other ways aside from searching can contact Saved by Zade.

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Mikayla Temple

Mikayla Temple

1:39 PM, Jan 05, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Mikayla Temple

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