When a fire broke out at a pet store in Danbury, Connecticut, the entire community stepped up to help the animals inside.
A 911 dispatcher received multiple calls about the fire at Puppy Love pet shop before 9 p.m. on Thursday night, and firefighters arrived on scene within two minutes of the calls, San Antonio Express-News reported.
Firefighters acted quickly, breaking into the pet shop to rescue the dogs trapped inside the fire.
“Chief, we gotta get the animals out,” a firefighter said.
Deputy Fire Chief Steve Williams said that when the firefighters arrived there was already heavy fire coming from the back of the pet store.
Civilians were also on the ready to help. Many had stopped their cars in the middle of the road to break into the pet store and save the beloved puppies.
“We formed a human chain” to get all 86 dogs out of Puppy Love, Williams told San Antonio Express-News.
Danbury residents Eric Walsh and Jonathan Jimenez, who were also volunteer rescuers, were eating at a restaurant next door when they learned about the fire. They heard someone yelling and rushed out to help.
The two ran out of the restaurant and broke into the shop through one of the side doors. Here, they started grabbing dog cages, getting them out of the pet store.
“It was just a human chain and people were just pulling them out,” Puppy Love owner Sean Silverman said. “We had them all in the street. Like the street was closed and then we just brought them right here. We just wheeled them right to here and in.”
Luckily, all the puppies were removed safely and without incident. There were also no injuries to firefighters or volunteers that stopped to help.
Approximately 30 volunteers and animal control officers have taken over care of the dogs.
Silverman said that the fire began in a pole barn located behind the building that is owned by the utility company.
The pole barn was damaged, and the pet shop sustained water damage from the firefighting efforts.
Silverman and his wife, Nancy, have owned Puppy Love since 1995.
“We want to thank all of the Danbury Fire Department, City of Danbury Police Department, many veterinarian staff of Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital and South Salem Animal Hospital, staff of Stanziato’s Wood Fired Pizza and the whole community of Danbury and beyond for reaching out and helping the Puppy Love family,” they wrote on the Puppy Love Facebook page.
“All of our puppies are safe, warm and happily ate an extra dinner tonight!
“Stanziatos was kind enough to open their doors to us so our puppies have temporary housing while our store can be cleaned and be put back to order. The fire started in a different building located behind Puppy Love and luckily the fire department was able to get it under control before it spread to our store.
“Thank you to everyone that donated extra blankets for our puppies to be extra cozy. We love you all, and so do all of the puppies!”
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