ROCKFORD, Mich. (May 6, 2014) — Staffers and pet owners in Kent County were frantically trying to rescue animals on Friday, after a kennel in Rockford caught on fire.
Thankfully, the owner said that the roughly 25 dogs inside were all removed from the Holiday Pet Resort building unharmed.
“We were here dropping off our dog on our way to a camping trip and came in the office and you could smell some smoke, but not really much,” said Annes Smit.
Smit said that when he arrived to the Holiday Pet Resort and Salon in Rockford on Friday afternoon, it wasn’t long until the entire building went up in flames.
Smit said that kennel staff quickly sprung into action, removing the roughly 25 dogs from their kennels.
“We stuck around and grabbed as many dogs as we could on each hand. Shortly after you know, we were standing outside and you could see the flames pretty high about 20 feet up in the air, dark plums,” said Smit.
Owner Mike Plesko said that his staff is always prepared for an emergency.
“Once or twice a year we train the staff for this kind of situation and they reacted perfectly. The first thing they did is one called 911 and got the fire department and two, started putting all of the pets on leashes and getting them outside here,” said Plesko.
Witnesses said that the fire started in the back of the building where there’s equipment used for cremation services. The owner said that a malfunction with the equipment could have caused the fire, but that’s still under investigation.
Plesko said it wasn’t only his staff who stepped in to help, but also members of the public that helped save those pets.
“I can’t thank them enough. I mean the Rockford community is such a great heart strong community that we can’t thank everybody enough. They are just wonderful people,” said Plesko.
Plesko said that the kennel will be rebuilt.
“Most definitely. We will be back bigger and stronger than ever,” said Plesko.
Staff at the kennel said that some of the pets rescued were taken to the Kent County Animal Shelter while the others were taken to another kennel up the street in Rockford.