GORDON COUNTY, Ga.. – Flames swept throughout the Gordon County Animal Shelter Wednesday night while heaps of creatures were indoors. The building was destroyed, but the majority of the animals survived. Researchers are still trying to ascertain how it started.
The flames were fierce as they tore through the protector. Trapped within their kennels, 23 dogs were surrounded by smoke and flames.
Firefighters were concentrated on getting the animals out. They tried to go in, but were stopped by the flames.
“They said the fire was too hot, too extreme, they were on the floor attempting to crawl out there and couldn’t,” said Director Sue Henson.
That is when Henson, firefighters and volunteers started trickling down the gates to the kennels using their bare hands.
“Everybody just started grabbing sticks and yanking them down and have them much enough for the animals to get out,” said Henson.
Two cats died in the fire.
“They were in the main office area, which had been completely engulfed when we got so nobody might have gotten to receive them,” said Henson.
All the dogs made it all out. Two fearful pups hurried off and are still lacking. Just one was injured.
“This was the previous dog pulled out he’d singed hair and pads had been scorched, and he’s a few smoke inhalation, however, he is eating, happy and hopefully we can get him placed,” said Henson.
All the other dogs, with the exception of 2 of these, have been accepted in by rescue teams. One was even adopted by the paramedic who helped rescue him.
Gordon County Commissioner Becky Hood showed up at the flame to find out whether she could assist and was overwhelmed with all of the others that wanted to do exactly the same.
“I watched people in action, everyone come with them, making me feel good knowing that our community cares about individuals as well as creatures,” said Hood.
County officials said anybody who wishes to help can donate throughout the county’s site, gordoncounty.org. County leaders said every dime will go right to the new refuge.
There have been plans in the works to use SPLOST money to construct a new refuge. Now, county leaders said that job will happen sooner rather than later.