Seven dogs die in pet resort fire

November 20, 2012

Seven dogs died in an early morning fire Monday at Thousand Hills Pet Resort outside of San Luis Obispo. [KSBY]

The fire burned three kennels at the Buckley Road ranch around 6 a.m. killing the dogs inside.

Thousand Hills Pet Resort functions both as a daycare and as an overnight care facility for dogs. The fire burned in the overnight facility, killing the seven dogs which belonged to owners who are out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Despite the deaths, Thousand Hills Pet Resort remained open Monday. Grievance counselors arrived at the ranch to attend to tearful employees.

Owner Jack Gould said electrical wiring in the kennels probably caused the fire, but Cal Fire is still investigating the incident.

Eight people live on the pet resort ranch, and one of the residents managed to put out the fire with a garden hose, protecting adjacent kennels.

The pet resort released a statement expressing its sorrow about the deadly fire.

“Our staff is deeply sorrowful for the loss of these precious animals and our hearts and prayers go out to their families.”

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You people are idiots. Blaming employees? Fire Sprinklers? More permits? (BTW Brains the fire sprinkler system, pipes, installation, and design is expensive, not only the permits. )

Things happen, it is a tragedy, lets just move on and not be so critical and everything! Do you have any idea how much it would cost to board your dog in a house designed for human living?

Are not some of you the proponents of letting Mr. Duvall house those homeless people in the same type of buildings. See what would have happened if one freeloader would have been killed….or maybe you all would not have given a crap since it was a real person and not a fuzzy animal?

Downtown Bob, your opinions are so illogical, it seems you have a pony in this race.

What kind of thinking process culminates in the idea that safety to animals comes secondary to the profit of those providing the care? This proposed principle has been repeatedly voted down by civilized societies, as witnessed by the many animal-welfare laws and regulations enacted over the years.

The argument of “things happen, it is a tragedy, lets just move on and not be so critical and everything!” fails on several points.

First of all, this is a tragedy that–by all reports–could have been prevented, and occurred because of negligence. This was not an UNAVOIDABLE tragedy; the conditions under which Mr. Gould boarded animals overnight was a PRESCRIPTION for tragedy.

Those dogs were LOCKED UP in WOODEN SHACKS with faulty heating pads AND no fire alarms in the shacks. There was no attendant available to adequately monitor the dogs for safety threats (such as the wooden shack in which they were locked overnight burning to the ground).

The argument of not addressing this PRESCRIPTION FOR TRAGEDY because of the cost for providing for boarded pets, at the same conditions for human residences, is both inaccurate and illogical. There is a difference between conditions acceptable for being safe for boarded pets and conditions acceptable for human homes.

No one is advocating that the requirements for boarding facilities be the same as the requirements for human residences. What is being demanded is reasonably safe boarding conditions. The conditions most people have posted as being reasonable would be similar to that required from animal humane societies.

The cost for one smoke alarm is less than $20 (and it also detects carbon monoxide). For the dogs whose owners have paid for the “luxury” of the painted wooden shacks (which are located separately from each other), this would require an alarm for each shack, with the detector on the inside of the shack and the alarm on the outside of the shack. In the case of a facility where the only human is out of hearing distance for the alarms, this would require remote alarms where the human can hear them..

The boarding conditions should meet the promised (contracted, verbally stated and implied) by the boarding facility’s owner and their representatives (including paid and unpaid staff). When Mr. Gould, the owner, and his staff indicate that there are people on the property overnight, it implies that there are people available to ensure the safety of the dogs at the facility. This is not the case, and Mr. Gould has, in my opinion, falsely implied to the pet owners that their animals would have humans able to ensure their safety if the pet owners boarded their pets overnight.

The reality is the property covers 40 acres, and having “someone on the property” in no way ensures the safety of the animals who are locked up in combustible wooden buildings.

In addition, it is negligent for Mr. Gould to continue to allow dog heating pads, without ensuring their safety, especially to be used in the wooden shacks where dogs are LOCKED UP overnight. This is especially true when there has already been a recall of one company’s heating pads because at least one dog died of asphyxiation, the pads shorted out causing electrical shocks, and property damage.

Finally, your attempt to bring in the issue of the DuVaul ranch homeless shelter is a red herring. Humans and dogs are different on so many levels the comparison is a fail from the start. In addition, if a either a human or a dog were locked up in a wooden shack, on fire, from which they could not escape, and no one was there to stop the fire, the result would be the same: death.

Well, I have no dog in this fight Mary, but you simply don’t make any sense either to me.

#1 a $20 fire alarm would be worthless along with a carbon monoxide detector. Here is why. No one to hear it anyways, a carbon monoxide detector helps when there are burning sources of heat as in water heater or furnace. None of those would be in a dog house. A simple smoke detector would not be an option, only an cost prohibitive commercial model with the accompanying wiring and equipment would actually make a difference. Were talking tens of thousands per unit, something that would not be financially practical I am sure.

#2. Someone being on the property means there is someone there to check on things, take the dogs out, water, food. People are not dropping their pets off to Ft. Knox and any pet owner knows that the sad things can happen. When you leave a pet, you must make a personal judgement on the facility. Nothing is without risk my friend.

#3 they didn’t purposely purchase faulty heating blankets or whatever you believe started the fire. It was accidental. No one actually knows what has happened yet. That will come in due time, however it is very hurtful to start pointing fingers at people at this point when they probably are sad too.

AS far as the Duvall ranch, I seem to remember he had tons of supporters that thought he should just be allowed to keep all those people there. That was a prescription for disaster, yet in some ways they should have the option to stay there instead of screwing up our environment and creeks with nasty trash and feces.

In reply:

#1: Pets should not be boarded overnight–especially lockedu p where they cannot escape fire–when there are no human attendants within earshot of knowing whether or not the pets are safe. I believe the 1000 Hills facility implied assurance to its customers that there would be someone on the property that could monitor the pets–otherwise, why mention there was anyone on the property? Obviously, there was no one monitoring the dogs who were killed. That was negligence on the part of 1000 Hills.

#2: Apparently, they were dropping their dogs off to be secured–in a flammable wooden building where they could die from a fire. I think 1000 Hills pimped itself as a high-zoot facility where the animals would be safe. They failed and were negligent in providing a safe place for their customers’ pets to stay.

#3. I didn’t say they purposely bought faulty heating pads. However, the recall of heating pads has been widely published. It was KSBY’s update that said Mr. Gould, the owner, thinks it might have been faulty heating pads and he was purchasing all new heating pads for the dog facilities.

I think there were many sides to the duVaul situation. Unfortunately, the one that won was the one that wanted to develop it into tacky LA shopping malls, just in time for Black Friday, too.