In Cantonment, Florida, a dog and three puppies died in a horrific fire behind a home. According to a neighbor who posted the disturbing video on social media, the fire broke out at a home on the 600 block of County Road 97 burning the dogs kept in a flimsy wooden structure.
The fire was started by an electric space heater that was being used to keep the animals warm. Laura Gunn Catterton described the heartbreaking scene on her Facebook page:
“1/01/18 6 PM – Worse thing ever!!! Dog burned to death right behind our yard. omg! HORRIFIC Puppies burned to death too. Fire Dept here. I heard the dog screaming. I climbed over fence but couldn’t save them. Mama dog in outside cage on stilts. OMG! Waiting for Animal Control.”
And she waited:
“UPDATE 7 PM – I talked to ACO on call. He wouldn’t even go in the backyard to document the dead dog/puppies. They’re calling it an accident. Apparently, an electric heater chord (sic) caught on fire that was inside the rickety cage on stilts, igniting something. NO CHARGES AGAINST OWNER. Never leave heaters unattended. The owner doesn’t even live there but comes over to feed his dogs. He has 3 litters of puppies in the 4 chain link kennels next to the burned out cage on stilts. He’s a BACKYARD BREEDER. Those pups have barrels for shelter but my GOD, it’s going to be so cold tonight. I told ACO the pups have no food, SEIZE THE DOGS TONIGHT. Nope, can’t do that. No laws broken. OMG- I’m furious.”
Laura has been filing affidavits on this neighbor for 13 years and contends the neglect continues.
“The ACO on call told me to go into AC tomorrow to file an affidavit, but I know it will go no where. I’ve been filing affidavits on this neighbor for 13 years and the neglect continues. All his dogs used to be on chains 24/7 but he *loves his dogs*I took lots of pics and got video of the cage burning (you can’t see the dog in the video.”
According to Animal Control, puppies living outside in 20 degree temperatures did not constitute animal neglect.
“This has been one of the worst nights of my life and the owner will not be held accountable for the agony and suffering mama dog and pups endured. Pray for the remaining 3 litters outside in the kennels tonight – wind chills about 10 degrees.”
On Tuesday morning, citations were issued to the dogs’ owner by Animal Control. The man was ordered to bring the surviving dogs indoors and has a mandatory court appearance. The surviving puppies were not removed from the home.
Rest in peace sweet dogs. We are so sorry you have suffered.
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(Photo of dogs died in horrific fire via Laura Catterton)