Killeen: Several cats euthanized following apartment fire
Eleven cats were euthanized after officials discovered they were sick after they were rescued from an apartment fire.
Witnesses said some residents attempted to escape through windows after a fire broke out on August 1 at the Village West Apartments in Killeen.
The fire, which was reported around 12:38 p.m. at the complex in the 400 block of North Gilmer Street, involved four units, not all of which were occupied.
One firefighter suffered a minor injury while battling the flames, but no other injuries were reported.
Firefighters rescued eleven cats.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Officials later realized the cats appeared to have health issues with discharge coming from their eyes and noses. The owner agreed to give the cats to the Animal Services Unit since she was not able to place them anywhere else.
The animal services office tried to place the cats with local rescue groups. The owner later confirmed the cats had been ill for some time and her residence was infested with bed bugs.
Officials said it isn't clear if the cats were infested with the bed bugs but believe they had carried the bugs with them as they were transported from the scene.
A local pest control advised that a flea dip, Permethrin, would kill the bed bugs and if the shelter were to become infested, it would have to be evacuated and treated.
A local veterinarian was later contacted and they advised the Permethrin would be harmful to the cats and was not an option for treatment.
A shelter supervisor was later briefed on the situation and decided to euthanize the cats in order to protect the entire population of the shelter.