Dozens of Paxton (MA) Animals Killed in Overnight Shelter Fire

24 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Public rallies behind Massachusetts animal shelter devastated by fire.

Dozens of cats and dogs were killed in a fire Sunday night at an animal shelter in central Massachusetts, prompting an outpouring of support and donations from the community. Flames broke out at the Sweetpea Friends of Rutland Animals in Paxton, Mass., just before 11 p.m., and according to staffers, 17 dogs and 39 cats are thought to have perished – nearly all of the animal residents at the nonprofit, no-kill animal rescue operation. By 11:40 p.m., firefighters were able to extinguish most of the flames, and officials said they were able to save four or five dogs, mostly larger breeds.

Almost immediately, shelter workers sent out a plea for help on social media, asking volunteers to bring towels, blankets and leashes. “Sweetpea is currently ON FIRE and we need volunteers to help MOVE animals,” workers wrote on Facebook. “This is not a drill. They are being treated for smoke inhalation. “We were very fortunate to save just those,” Fire Chief Jay Conte told CBS Local. “The site was fully involved when we got here, so we didn’t think we were going to save any of the animals.” During the incident, Sweetpea used Facebook and Twitter to notify followers that the shelter had gone up in flames, pleading for volunteers and veterinarians to help. Some gathered in a nearby building on the property, weeping and wrapping the rescued dogs in blankets to keep them warm. “The building can be replaced, but these animals can’t be,” kennel manager Melanie Kenadek told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. “They’re shelter pets, but they’re our family.

They sobbed as they tried to warm the dogs rescued from the burning building, holding them wrapped in blankets, and shared the names of the dogs that were lost.” Sweetpea director Richard Clark said they will need a lot of help restoring services and operations. It’s just, they’re our babies.” On a GoFundMe page, the shelter pleaded for donations “in order to get back on our feet.” More than $26,000 had been pledged by early Monday afternoon.

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