On Feb. 1 at around 11 a.m., a fire broke out at The Dog Resort, a popular daycare and boarding facility for dogs in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood. When the fire started, neighbors quickly responded to help evacuate the animals from the burning building.
“I thought, ‘I can sit here and watch, or I can go over and see if I can be of help,'” Kenny Robinson, who was working at his office next door to the facility, told the Washington Post. “I knew there could be fire on the other side of that wall, next to the dog run.”
As the dog care center employees rushed to get all the dogs outside, Robinson and other neighbors led them to the fenced parking lot of a nearby business PSR Medical. This required making it more secure so smaller dogs couldn’t escape through the bottom of a chain-link fence.
“It was really chaotic and traumatic — firefighters arrived, and some of the dogs were struggling from the smoke and needed oxygen,” Robinson said. “Another dog got away from me and I had to chase him down. But we got them all out.”
According to a news release from the Seattle Fire Department, the fire was accidental. It started in a dryer and then extended to the back of the building. The department estimated a financial loss of $300,000.
The Dog Resort started a GoFundMe, sharing the details with a photo of the emergency on Facebook. To date, it has raised more than $27,000 in donations. Here’s its Facebook post asking for help.
Happily, firefighters reported no fatalities. Four of the dogs were taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment after firefighters gave them life-saving treatment and seven humans were safely evacuated. Although paramedics assisted a 19-year-old woman who was in the building, she was in stable condition and not transported to a hospital.
All 115 dogs were safely accounted for and evacuated by staff members and animal-control officers. Several were moved to nearby businesses, including Hellbent Brewing Company, Classic Collision and Bowwow Fun Towne, another dog daycare, during the emergency. Seattle Animal Shelter staff took 75 of the dogs to other animal boarding facilities until owners were able to reunite with their pets.
In the GoFundMe, the doggie daycare chain says it plans to create a temporary establishment in the city’s North End while it rebuilds, but all boarding reservations are being honored at its location in the SoDo neighborhood. It says it’s working to provide transportation for both staff and dogs between sites. The daycare part of the business is closed until further notice.