A Massachusetts shelter fire killed dozens of cats and dogs as this facility quickly turned into an inferno on Sunday night. The shelter staff put out an urgent social media post as the flames engulfed Sweetpeas, which is a non-profit animal shelter in Paxton, Massachusetts.
According to News Max on November 23, the staff first asked for volunteers to come and help move the few animals that did make it out alive. A second post was a plea for any veterinarians in the area to come to the shelter to help with the injured animals.
Both posts were answered, as volunteers and veterinarians came to help. The volunteers were seen weeping while holding the few animals that did make it out of the fire alive. They wrapped them in blankets and towels to keep them warm and calm them down. Oxygen was administered to the dogs, as five canines survived the fire.
The sadness of losing the animals was seen on the faces of the volunteers and staff that came to help. The firefighters were also feeling the loss of the animals as they fought the fire. When the fire was put out the staff wrote another Facebook post. This time it said “Tonight Sweetpea has lost almost everything.”
Firehouse.com reports today that the community is trying to cope with the overwhelming loss of the animals in that shelter fire. Paxton Fire Chief Jay Conte said:
“These dogs were past the point of howling. The smoke was so banked down and the flames were above them. Most humans wouldn’t be able to withstand the conditions, but these dogs were so low to the ground in their kennels they were still able to still breathe,” Conte told the Herald. “Another half an hour and they wouldn’t have made it.”
The other animals, which were estimated at 25 cats and 13 dogs, were already dead or burned beyond recognition. The Fire Chief also said: “It was very emotional for the volunteers and firefighters that had to pull the dogs out,” he said. “Just about everybody has a pet, so we all felt it.”
With the shelter a total loss, a crowd-sourcing page was posted on GoFundMe for the Sweetpea Friends of Rutland Animals shelter in Paxton, Massachusetts, which is growing in donations. On Tuesday morning almost $ 82,000 has been raised for the Sweetpea facility.
The fire department believes the fire started in the office area from a “heat or electrical source.” The building sustained $150,000 in damage with another estimated $75,000 to $80,000 in property loss, like cages and supplies.