AVOCA, Ark. — An investigation is underway in Benton County after 149 dogs were removed from a home during a fire.
According to Avoca Fire Department Chief Brian Ervin, the department received a call Saturday morning, May 14, to a home on Deason Road of a fire taking place in the Avoca area.
Ervin says when crews arrived on the scene, they saw heavy smoke and the homeowners trying to get dogs out of the house. He says firefighters joined efforts to get dogs out of the house including doing search and rescue.
Ervin says some of the dogs rescued received breathing treatments using special masks. He also says the family of 5 or 6 made it out safe and are being assisted by the Red Cross.
Firefighters from Rogers, Beaver Lake, Little Flock, Nebco and Pea Ridge responded and helped attempt to rescue the dogs.
The Benton County Sheriff's Office says a total of 149 dogs were removed from the home.
Only 73 of the dogs removed from the home survived, according to the Benton County Sheriff's Office. The remains were taken to The Human Society for Animals Inc. in Rogers.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating as well due to the number of dogs removed from the home.
Fire marshals are investigating what caused the fire.
There were 149 chihuahuas and 75 survived and are at the shelter.
The NWA Humane Society for Animals in Rogers has been caring for the 75 chihuahuas since Saturday. Director Clayton Morgan says the dogs have been wormed, vaccinated, getting physical exams and any medication they need. He says they are all in good health other than some skin conditions.
“I think a lot of their trauma is neglect as far as how do you love 150 puppies, 150 dogs. How do you show each one of them love,” he said.
Occurrences like this are what Morgan says keeps shelter workers like himself across the country awake at night.
“When we shop for animals, this is where our animals are coming from and we need to stop and think and it doesn’t matter if it’s a little chihuahua or the labradoodle, you know we need to stop and think where these dogs are coming from,” he said.
Morgan hopes this story will be a reminder to people to adopt from shelters instead of shopping.
“They were using the dogs to breed, and these dogs end up being sold and that’s the situation we are in right now with these dogs. If there weren’t a market for the dogs, they wouldn’t have had 150 dogs,” he said.
Check back for updates to this developing story.
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