Close X

14 Dogs Die In Pack Rat’s House Fire

In Riverside, CA 14 Lhasa Apsos died of smoke inhalation when a fire broke out in the house of a hoarder. The firefighters couldn't get...

Horst Hoefinger  |  Oct 7th 2009


tater1030470_1252340800In Riverside, CA 14 Lhasa Apsos died of smoke inhalation when a fire broke out in the house of a hoarder. The firefighters couldn’t get to the fire in the kitchen and porch because clutter blocked their way. The house was filled from floor to ceiling with junk making it hard to get to the dogs who were all caged in a room.

This is such a sad story because it was so unnecessary, those dogs should not have died. Obviously this person was a hoarder so there were other issues going on, but it’s so important to know about fire safety.

A few days ago I posted about the dogs that set fire to their mobile home, in the article I included a link to some fire safety tips. After reading this story I’ve decided to repost them for everyone to see. Here are some great tips from VPI Insurance.

Its a fact: a fire could destroy your home at any time, particularly by misuse of space heaters in the winter, or by a natural fire in the summer. Most families have evacuation plans that include their pets. If you havent created a plan, consider making one today.

To start, check the batteries in your smoke alarms to be sure theyre working. Then designate one human family member who would be responsible for each pet. Other steps to keep your pets safe in case of fire include:

Alert Firefighters To Indoor Pets:

free-pet-safety-pack-1Place a Pet Rescue Fire Safety Sticker in your window. These stickers, which are available free from most pet stores and non-profit humane organizations, stick to your front window and tell firefighters to Please rescue my pets! They let fire crews know that you have pets inside the house, how many, and what kind.

Since owners are often not home when fires occur, these stickers have saved many pet lives. Go to the ASPCA site to request a free pet safety pack.

Keep Outdoor Pets Away From Danger:

Keep pet houses or pens away from brushy areas. Fire departments will warn you to clear dry brush away from your home, but that also applies to your pets.

If you have a doghouse or a pen for a rabbit, pot-bellied pig or other outdoor pet, make sure its at least 20 feet away from any brush that could possibly become fuel in a fire. That way, youll have time to go out and rescue your pet if such a fire does threaten your property.

Always evacuate your pets on a leash or in a pet carrier. Pets will panic at the smell of smoke, and may bolt when outside, making them impossible to find.

Locate Your Pets Hideaway:

Keep Your Pets Safe From FireKnow their hiding places. Remember, during a fire, your pets will be terrified, and theyll most likely run to in the places they feel most safe. If you dont know their common hiding places, you could run out of time to save your friend.

Find all the best cubbyholes and niches, map them out on a piece of paper, and include the map in your fire escape plan.

Have An Emergency Kit On Hand:

Prepare an emergency kit for each pet. The kit should contain some of your pets food, his veterinary paperwork, prescription medications, if any, and photo/description of your pet. You may have to board your pet at a kennel or other facility until you get settled after a fire, and they will require proof that your pet has current vaccinations.

Secure Your Pet During Danger:

Always evacuate your pets on a leash or in a pet carrier. Just as with fireworks, pets will panic at the smell of smoke, and they may bolt when outside, making them impossible to find. Put your dog on a leash; you can carry a cat in a carrier.

Create An Open Access:

Leave an outside door open. If you must evacuate and cant find your pet in the house, leave a door open that leads to the outside, and then call the pets name once you get out. With luck, hell hear you and head for your voice, although this works better for dogs than cats. Be prepared; hell be panicked. Be sure to have a designated meeting place near your home for everyone to meet so everyone will be accounted for away from the fire.

With a little planning, you can ensure that everyone on two and four legs will be safe in case there is a fire in your home. For more information about pet fire safety, visit the Humane Society.

There are no pictures with this story so I’m featuring Tater, he’s on Dogster’s Dog Adoption & Rescue Center.