Saturday night, a fire erupted at the Ponderosa Pet Resort in Georgetown, Texas. Tragically, the fire left 75 dogs dead, with the fire chief on the scene reporting the incident as “extremely heart-wrenching.”
PEOPLE reports Georgetown Fire Chief John Sullivan gave a statement at a press conference the next day. By the time fire crews arrived, the smoke made rescues impossible. This is despite the crews arriving a mere four and a half minutes after receiving the 911 calls.
“It was a quick response,” Sullivan said. “Unfortunately, they were met with conditions that are our worst possible scenario and that was heavy smoke and fire involvement. This was not occupied by any humans but nonetheless, it was by 75 pets and by no indication do I want to lead anyone to believe that that is any less tragic, it is extremely heart-wrenching for us as first responders.”
Sullivan reported the department is still actively investigating the source of the fire. He also noted he believes most of the animals died from smoke inhalation, rather than burns. Sadly, it seems all 75 casualties were dogs. “My heart just dropped when I got the address and knew exactly what location we were going to because, quite frankly, I view my personal pet as my closest confidant, friend and the one that doesn’t judge,” he said. “My heart just breaks for the people today.”
Sullivan spoke to KVUE and confirmed two of the dogs had belonged to Georgetown Police Officer Michelle Gattey, who died from COVID-19 complications last week. “Her family, her friends, and all of us will miss her more than words can describe,” Sullivan’s statement concluded. “Rest easy sister. We have the watch.”
Alaska Man and His Dog Walk the Equivalent of a Lap Around the Earth Within 8 Years
On a sunnier dog note, an Alaskan man and his dog greatly enjoy taking walks together. In fact, they frequently do so and reached 24,901 miles together within eight years last week. That distance is equivalent to an entire lap around Earth.
Mike Mitchell and his furry companion, Chance, met from a Craigslist post. Mitchell was celebrating his 60th birthday and thought he could use the company, so he brought the dog home with him. That day Mitchell and his Shiz Tsu began a new tradition.
“I love to walk, and Chance loves to walk,” Mitchell told KTUU. “We’re two peas in a pod … Somehow, we managed to walk the distance around the planet. I think it’s remarkable.” The two began their tradition because Mike was overweight and wanted to shed some pounds. Tracking their progress with an Apple watch, Mike reports they two average 3,000 miles a year.
“We do a lot of double-digit walks in the morning. We go out and get 10, 12 miles, come back and have a little meal, maybe take a power nap,” Mitchell stated. Considering Shih Tzus seldom hit 20 pounds, it’s hard to say whether it’s more impressive Mike or Chance regularly walk as far as they do.