Lawrence Road Fire Co. Firefighter Chris Laird cares for one of the rescued dogs. Credit: Michael Ratcliffe
Hopewell Township Police Lt. Thomas Puskas said that a total of 23 dogs – some tiny puppies just days old – were in the two-story house in the 2300 block of Pennington Road (Route 31) when a blaze broke out on April 2. One dog died in the house from smoke inhalation, but the other 22 were rescued. Many were revived with oxygen.
Responding to battle the blaze were all three Hopewell Valley volunteer fire companies – Pennington Borough, Hopewell Borough, and Union Fire Co. of Titusville – along with the West Trenton Volunteer Fire Co. from Ewing Township and the Lawrence Road and Lawrenceville volunteer fire companies from Lawrence Township.
The pet oxygen masks carried on Lawrence Road’s Rescue 22 fire engine were donated to the fire company in January by the Humane Society, which also donated masks to Ewing Township’s three volunteer fire companies.
“One dog can be a given at a fire. You sort of expect that. Twenty dogs? That’s different. [But] you never know what you’re going to come across, which is why these [masks] were given to us. They worked fantastic. I definitely love these things,” Chris Laird said as he and fellow volunteer firefighter James Brundage demonstrated the masks for reporters.
Puskas said today that Hopewell Township Health Department and animal control officials are continuing to investigate why Burnett had so many dogs in the house.