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Boo & Smokey the Miracle Cats Need Your Help

A cat named Smokey and his brother Boo have miraculously survived a fire in Dandenong that completely destroyed their home.

For Dwayne Ariss, a single dad, Friday 24th of May had started out like any other.

“I was having a coffee watching the morning news, and my son was in the shower getting ready for school,” Dwayne said. “My son smelled something odd, and in a matter of seconds he saw the bedroom was glowing. He jumped out of the shower and yelled out to me, and as soon as I saw what was happening I put my arms around him and we ran. The house went up so quick. The pressure, the panic, the intensity of the smoke was so intense, there wasn’t time to think or act.”

Dwayne and his son were distraught thinking that their beloved cats, who they had rescued and bottle fed as stray kittens, had not made it. But when they returned the next day, they found Smokey and Boo amidst the rubble - alive.

"I couldn't believe it," Dwayne said. "The ceiling had collapsed on top of Boo, and he was underneath it in the sink, badly burned but still alive. 

When I lifted the rubble away he let out a little meow as if saying 'Daddy I'm hurt'. His paws, ears and whiskers were all burned. 

We found Smokey under the bonnet of my car. The little fellahs deserved to live, so we took them straight to the vet.”

Dwayne lost almost everything in the fire, but was so grateful that his son and cats were safe.

Pets Of The Homeless, a not-for-profit helping to keep vulnerable people and their pets together, stepped in to help with the veterinary fees. They are now calling on the community to help them raise $6,000 to cover the full extent of the costs.

"Smokey has been treated for smoke inhalation, and Boo has been treated for his burns and is now facing a long road to recovery," said
Pets Of The Homeless Founder and CEO, Yvonne Hong.

"For emergency treatment, Pets Of The Homeless is able to contribute up to $1000, but we now need the help of our wonderful community to cover the remaining costs."

Dwayne is incredibly grateful to Pets Of The Homeless and the community for rallying to assist them at this time.

"I can't express how much it means to us," he said.

You can help Smokey and Boo get back on their paws by making a tax-deductible donation to

About Pets of The Homeless

Pets Of The Homeless is a not-for-profit working to keep vulnerable people and their pets together by alleviating the burden of providing essential pet care during times of hardship. Through the provision of pet food and supplies, veterinary care and safe shelter, Pets Of The Homeless works to ensure that the important bond between a person and their companion animal is never broken.


MEDIA RELEASE, 5th June 2024

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