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Nearly 30 dogs lost in Little Rays of Sunshine Animal Rescue fire


More than two dozen dogs were killed in a fire that started in a kennel at a private animal rescue early Sunday morning, according to the Boone County Fire Protection District.

Wayne Cummins, with the Boone County Fire Protection District Captain, said crews were dispatched to a structure fire on the 10000 block of East Van Court Road just after 1:00 a.m. When fire crews arrived, Cummins said they found the 1200 sq ft building fully engulfed with flames with the roof caving in.

"Unfortunately by the time we got here, the fire had been burning for quite some time and all the dogs perished in the fire. The homeowner estimated about 30," Cummins said.

Fire officials said crews worked the fire for two hours with about 15 crew members and five fire trucks to put the fire out. Cummins added no one was hurt in the fire and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

"Anytime you lose a pet, you know, that's hard for the family," Gale Blomenkamp, Assistant Chief for the Boone County Fire Protection District said. "Firefighters never want to see any pets be hurt during a fire."

The estimated costs of the fire are around $30,000, Blomenkamp added.

ABC 17 News crews on the scene spoke briefly with homeowner Jordan Alexander about the Little Rays of Sunshine Animal Rescue. Alexander told ABC 17 News crews on the scene she started the rescue because she saw the need for help and wanted to do what she could.

"We are devastated and don’t even know where to start," Little Rays of Sunshine Animal Rescue wrote in a Facebook post. "Huge thank you to our neighbor who saw the flames and called 911. Sadly by that time, it was too late... Please keep us in your thoughts as we navigate this tragedy."

A few hours before the fire, some puppies from the rescue were featured in a "Puppy Yoga" session at the Dandy Lion Cafe in Ashland.

"They were having a blast and were so full of life," Sarah Judd with Sarah's Yoga Studio said. "Just yesterday, there was, I think at least six people asking Little Rays of Sunshine how they apply for these puppies. I just can't believe it, they were about to get their homes."

Puppies from the Little Rays of Sunshine Animal Rescue make their rounds during Puppy Yoga, Jan. 28th.
Photo courtesy: The Dandy Lion on Main

The yoga studio worked alongside the rescue for a few months, Judd said. In October, she adopted a puppy of her own from the rescue, named Ichabod.

"They really care about their dogs," Judd added. "I can't imagine how hard that is for them."

Little Rays of Sunshine Animal Rescue started a fundraiser on it's Facebook page. Those interested in donating to the rescue can visit here.

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Erika McGuire

Abby Landwehr

Joushua Blount

Joushua Blount hails from Cleveland, Ohio and has a bachelor’s degree in media communications from the University of Toledo. He also has a master’s degree from the University Of Alabama. Roll Tide!


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