Seven puppies, three cats die in fire at DHS house
Seven puppies died Saturday afternoon in a Desert Hot Springs house fire that started at a home well-known to Riverside County Animal Services, according to spokesman John Welsh.
CalFire responded to the 65-000 block of Hacienda Avenue at 2:22 p.m., after a fire sparked in the home's attic. Firefighters were able to contain the fire quickly and had completely extinguished it within the hour, according to CalFire.
Riverside County Animal Control was originally called in to help treat eight dogs that were believed to have suffered smoke inhalation.
Although CalFire originally reported that none of the animals had died in the fire, Welsh confirmed that seven puppies that had been in a back room of the house died as did three cats. One cat has yet to be located.
Animal Services had been out to that house more than 40 times in the last couple of years, Welsh said, fining the owner thousands of dollars during that period of time because the man continually failed to get a license to have that many animals living in his house.
Officers took at least 11 more dogs into their custody Saturday afternoon after the fire, Welsh said.
A house fire Saturday, Feb. 6, in Desert Hot Springs killed seven puppies and three cats, authorities said.
Eleven dogs survived the fire, which occurred about 2:20 p.m. in the 65000 block of Hacienda Avenue, according to a Riverside County Animal Services news release. Authorities said they were “familiar” with the property where the fire occurred, since the owner has been “cited repeatedly for failing to have a proper kennel” for the dogs.
Animal Services officers never knew just how many dogs were in the single family, single story home, since the owner would not let them in, the news release said. The puppies that died were being kept in a back room.
Over time, the property owner racked up thousands of dollars in penalties for not securing a proper kennel for the dogs, the news release said.
“The owner has consistently failed to provide the animals with what we would describe as proper housing,” Animal Services authorities said.
The surviving animals were transported to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms where they will be treated and cared for until “a disposition is reached with the owner.”
The fire was quickly put out by firefighters and no people were injured, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department authorities said.