AVOCA, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — More than 75 dogs died in a house fire Saturday and dozens more made it out alive.
The Humane Society here in Rogers said 73 dogs came here after that house fire, and that number is about to grow because some of them are pregnant.
The shelter was already at full capacity and now, the number of dogs here has more than doubled.
“We noticed the homeowners trying to get back inside their house and get their pets out of the house. At the time, we didn’t know how many dogs that were,” said Brian Ervin, Avoca Fire Assistant Chief.
There were around 150 dogs in this Avoca home when it caught fire on Saturday, but Avoca fire said the priority at the time was saving the people and putting the fire out.
“They’d be upset because they have the potential of losing their dogs in their house, or a lot of times those dogs are your family,” said Ervin.
The Benton County Sheriff’s office said nearly 80 of them died. Clayton Morgan, the director of the Humane Society in Rogers, said he doesn’t see how a family could properly care for that many animals .
“It is neglect as far as ‘how do you love 150 puppies?'” said Morgan.
Especially after seeing the condition of the 70 dogs that survived.
“They have skin mites, some of the older are blind, they have uncut, long nails, but mainly your skin issues,” said Morgan.
Morgan said the issues that had nothing to do with the fire.
“Puppy mills and things like this as what we know, there’s many of them out in in the Benton County rural areas,” said Morgan.
Morgan said this is a good reminder to start thinking about where these dogs are coming from and to remember ‘adopt don’t shop’.
As for where they’re going, they will have to stay in his care for 15 days until they’re ready to be transported to other shelters with space across the country.
The Benton County Fire Marshall is still investigating the cause of the fire and prosecutors will decide if any charges will be filed against the owners.