POINT PLEASANT — Animal rescuers from as far away as Maine will be in Mason County this weekend to pick up more than 60 animals left shelterless following a fire at the countyâ€™s animal shelter that killed 32 dogs and cats.
Nineteen cats and between four and six dogs died in the fire, said Susan Potter, with You’re Hounding Me Rescue, an animal rescue shelter in East Hartford, Conn., that is helping to find homes for the displaced animals that survived.
The fire started about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday when a man repairing a furnace went to light the pilot and there was an explosion, according to a Mason County Emergency Services dispatcher. The repairman was flown by HealthNet helicopter to Cabell Huntington Hospital with second- and third-degree burns. His condition was not available Wednesday night.
Shelter workers were not available for comment Wednesday night, but Potter said the building is a total loss. She and a few other volunteers will make the 12-hour drive to Mason County today to help round up the remaining animals that are roaming loose near the shelter, she said.
They will then take at least 20 dogs by van to shelters in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts, Potter said. More than 50 dogs survived the fire, and many of them already have been taken to shelters in Gallia County, Ohio, and Putnam and Cabell counties, she said.
“The shelter needs cash donations to pay for vet bills and begin the process of rebuilding a new facility,” she said.
Donations can be sent to MCAWL, P.O. Box 285, Point Pleasant, WV 25550.
Copyright Â©2005 Herald-Dispatch.com All rights reserved.