Families devastated after 30 dogs killed in Michigan kennel fire - WNEM TV 5

Families devastated after 30 dogs killed in Michigan kennel fire

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Harley Harley
Source: CNN Source: CNN

Authorities say about 30 dogs died in a fire at a boarding kennel in western Michigan.

The fire was reported about 4:40 a.m. Friday at Storm's Ahead Kennels in Muskegon County's Fruitport Township.

"I just got a phone call at about 6:45 this morning that there had been a fire and my Newfoundland puppy Harley didn't make it,” Jennifer Nunez said.

Nunez is among the families learning the worst - their 11-month-old puppy, Harley, was among the 30 killed. Nunez and her family were on their way to spring break.

"It is just unbelievable. She went there last night and both my children are just devastated and really not looking forward to going home and seeing all her belongings around the house,” Nunez said.

The owners of the kennel would not speak to media but wrote on Facebook:

"Boarder dogs, along with our own personal dogs in the kennel at the time, lost their lives in the fire. We're devastated at the impact this loss of lives is having on our clients, friends and family. We are notifying each of the families individually."

Looking ahead, humane society officials said if you board a pet, always ask for the kennel's safety protocols in writing.

"What I would want to do is tell me what your safety procedures are. Tell me what happens in the case of a fire, a flood, a whatever, what are your safety precautions? How are you going to secure the safety of my animal that I am putting in your care,” said Marti Youngdahl, Muskegon Humane Society Board Secretary.

They also recommend asking your veterinarian who they board animals with, and asking the kennel if they have smoke detectors, alarms, or someone checking on the animals overnight.

"Many animal owners are asked to bring, you know, they have to have all their vaccinations, they have to be spayed or neutered. So, they ask a lot of the pet owner, and I think the pet owner has to ask also the same amount of questions about the pet kennel itself,” Youngdahl said.

The kennel has been open since 2004 and is known for breeding Labrador retrievers.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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