Riverside County Animal Services responded to a Desert Hot Springs property Saturday afternoon (Feb. 6) after receiving a call from the Riverside County Fire Department/CAL Fire.
Several animals perished as a result of the fire at a house located in the 65000 block of Hacienda Avenue. It is believed the animals died due to smoke inhalation.
Seven dogs, all described as puppies that were being kept in a back room, died. Three cats also died.
One cat was unaccounted for, according to the owner.
Eleven dogs survived, thanks to the fast-acting efforts of Riverside County firefighters. The dogs were released to a front, enclosed yard where they were a safe distance from the fire.
Thirteen firefighters battled the fire, which was contained to the attic of the house. Firefighters were notified shortly after 2:20 p.m. and responded within minutes. It took them roughly 15 minutes to contain the fire.
The property is a familiar location for Riverside County Animal Services officers. The property owner has been cited repeatedly for failing to have a proper kennel. Riverside County officers have not been allowed inside the house where most of the dogs have been kept. It was never known exactly how many dogs the man owned. Despite thousands of dollars in penalties, the owner has consistently failed to secure a kennel permit or a provide the animals with what we would describe as proper housing.
The surviving dogs were loaded up by Riverside County Animal Services officers and transported to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms. The animals will be examined by veterinary staff members and cared for until a disposition is reached with the owner.
We may send, in a follow-up e-mail, some photos of the dogs we impounded. Those photos are pending.
A link with further information is available at Riverside County Fire Department's incidents page.