A major explosion at the Mason County Animal Shelter in a rural area of West Virginia occurred after a repairman working on the furnace went to light the pilot on Tuesday, November 22 around 2:30pm.
Thanks to the staff members who risked their lives to save them, one kitten, more than ten puppies and all the adult dogs were saved. The staff ran back into the burning building to unlock cages and allow the dogs to run loose away from the fire. Sadly, the building was totally destroyed and 29 cats and kittens, along with 3 puppies died from the initial explosion and smoke inhalation, when flames prevented workers from reaching these animals.
Danielle, the shelter manager, is one of the workers who suffered from smoke inhalation from running back into the shelter time after time to save more animals. Many of the animals also required emergency veterinary care for smoke inhalation and other medical issues, as well as vaccinations to prepare them for transport to other shelters. Thanks to our members, Best Friends provided financial support to help with emergency veterinary costs for the animals injured at the explosion.
Sally Cammack, a volunteer with the shelter, wrote about the dedicated shelter staff, "This staff has been back to the shelter everyday looking for animals and even though we told them we have other people to look for these dogs it wasn't enough. They had to go back themselves." Many of the loose dogs were found, including two found laying in the burnt laundry room at the shelter, the last place they called home, by Derrick Handley one of the shelter staff.
Donations and supplies are desperately needed, including dog sweaters, blankets, carpet samples, pet beds and stray/hay bales to help keep the animals warm. It’s very cold in Mason County, West Virginia and the building the county has provided to use as an animal shelter has no heat, running water or other amenities. Donations are also needed to help the shelter rebuild to continue providing life saving services to the animals in the area.
A rescue transport was arranged by Furry Friends Network in Carlisle, PA (http://www.furryfriendsnetwork.org
) on Saturday, November 26 to bring many of the animals from Mason County to several rescue organizations in the northeast, including Rogers Rescues (http://www.rogersrescues.com
) and Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter (http://www.njshelter.org
). Over the past several years, the shelter staff and volunteers of the Mason County Animal Welfare League (http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/WV39.html
) have been working together to save animals by transporting them to rescue groups and shelters in other states, such as New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and other states in the northeast, where spay/neuter is common and there is a greater demand for dogs and puppies for adoption. Shelter workers and volunteers also work to promote the importance of spay/neuter and responsible pet owners to the local residents in Mason County.
Supplies to keep the animals warm (dog sweaters, blankets, carpet samples, pet beds and stray/hay bales) can be shipped via UPS or FedEx to:
Furry Friends Network
290 Fairview St
Carlisle, PA 17013
To make a donation to help rebuild the shelter and provide veterinary care to the animals in need in Mason County, please visit https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr
Here is a link to pictures of the dogs from this shelter available for adoption: http://www.petfinder.com/pet.cgi?action=1&display=&adTarget=&preview=&SessionID=438a508b1d6a8f6e-app1&row=0&tmpl=&stat
Graphic (warning!!) video of the fire is available online at http://www.wowktv.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=6898