Sunday, December 12, 2010

More than 100 dogs pulled from burning house

By Max Smith, WTOP

More than 100 dogs were pulled from a burning house in Calvert County Sunday morning. "We were able to extinguish all of the fire, and remove 129 animals from the house," says Jonathan Riffe, Chief of the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department.
The one-story house on the 1200 block of Neptune Lane now has a blue blue covering the roof, and sits on a large piece of property.
Riffe says more than 50 firefighters helped rescue the animals from the house. He says the animals were a mixture of pit bulls, rottweilers and chihuahuas.
In total, he says there are more than 600 animals on the property.
Riffe says four dogs died in the fire, but nobody was injured and the investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.
The house is listed as a breeder for several kinds of dogs.
A neighbor tells WTOP that they're not surprised they had so many animals on their property, but wonders if the owners took their love of animals too far with so many animals crammed into a tiny space. 

Update December 13, 2010 12:51pm - The following article is from KSLA:
Maryland firefighters save hundreds of dogs

Maryland firefighters said they rescued more than a hundred dogs from a raging house fire Sunday morning.
"I feel blessed ... We could have not woken up and [had] no one to take care of the dogs," said Terry Anthon, who runs a kennel out of the home.
The fire broke out around 2:30 a.m. on the 1200 block of Neptune Drive in Huntingtown.
Calvert County firefighters said four of the dogs died of smoke inhalation, but they saved hundreds more.
"We knocked down the fire in five minutes, rescued over one hundred animals," said Calvert County Fire Chief Jonathan Riffe.
Neighbors who witnessed the fire feared far worse results.
"I was concerned," said Jane Lawry-Walsh. "I didn't hear any dogs barking. I thought they were overcome by smoke."
The owners shuffled the dogs into warm cars, trying to find a permanent solution.
The family is now sheltering the dogs outside in heated kennels and inside running vehicles.
Anthon said that he breeds, shows and rescues dogs.
"The American Kennel Club was here Thursday and inspected us, and everything was fine," he said.
Animal control said Calvert County requires a breeding license if the dogs are sold for a profit.
Authorities said the owners haven't produced a license, and it's unclear if the owners are making a profit.
Their business website, Kimmar Kennels, says it breeds and shows staffordshire terriers, a breed often mistaken for the pitbull.
Whatever the case, Jim Fisher of Calvert County Animal Control said the dogs were being taken well care of.
"All the dogs are in good shape, good condition and there's palettes of food," he said.
While the investigation continues, the main concern officials said they have is the health of the dogs.

Related articles:
Dogs Killed in Blaze - NBC Washington
More than 100 dogs rescued from Maryland fire - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
More than 100 dogs rescued from fire - Washington Post 

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