A staff member living on site at Thousand Hills Pet Resort in San Luis Obispo awoke to see smoke and flames coming from several nearby kennels at about 6:40 a.m. on Nov. 19. According to facility manager Nicole Hern, the staffer responded immediately and was able to save some animals, but he was too late to help seven others, who lost their lives in the flames.
- FILE PHOTO FROM FEBRUARY 2010 BY STEVE E. MILLER
- TRAGEDY AT DAYCARE FOR DOGS : Thousand Hills Pet Resort consists of 28 individual dog house structures, and more than a dozen play yards. The structures have electricity, which may have sparked the fire that recently killed seven dogs.
CAL FIRE responded to the scene, but the fire was already out by the time they arrived. Based on the degree of damages to three kennels, Capt. Zach Nichols said it appeared the fire burned unnoticed for about an hour. Investigators have not yet been able to determine the fire’s cause, but no foul play is suspected at this time.
The doghouses were wired for lighting and heat, so an electrician also reviewed the debris but hadn’t found an ignition point as of press time, Hern said.
After the fire was put out, staffers spent the day delivering the bad news to the owners of deceased dogs and calling the rest of their clients to let them know their dogs were safe. They hadn’t yet reached the owner of one of the dogs that was lost as of press time. It was an emotional day, said Hern, who was too distraught to make the calls herself.
“My deep sorrow goes out to those who lost their animals,” Hern said. “When I learned we lost seven dogs, I felt like every one of them was mine.”