Firefighters and dozens of good Samaritans showed plenty of love for puppies this week by forming a human chain to rescue 86 of them that were trapped inside the Puppy Love pet store as a fire burned behind it in Danbury, Conn.
When they heard someone yell about a fire around 9 p.m. Thursday night, Danbury residents Eric Walsh and Jonathan Jimenez, who were having dinner at the pizzeria next door, were the first heroes to break in and start saving lives. Other customers, employees and passersby quickly joined them, including people driving by who stopped their cars in the middle of the street and ran in to help. Firefighters arrived on the scene within just a couple of minutes.
The puppies were quickly wheeled out of the store in crates that were attached to pallets. Amazingly, none of them were injured, thanks to the quick action of all those heroes, who were also unharmed.
“All the restaurants emptied. People worked together to save these dogs,” Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton told WABC. “It was an amazing sight to see.”
A veterinarian called it a miracle. “All the puppies were out on the street, every one of them safe,” Jeffery Hubshur told WABC. “It gives you faith in people. What a place Danbury is.”
The fire started in a storage shed connected to the back of the store that’s owned by a utility company, Puppy Love owner Sean Silverman told the News-Times.
“All of our puppies are safe, warm and happily ate an extra dinner tonight!” Puppy Love later posted on its Facebook page.
According to the Puppy Love Facebook page, the store is family owned and has been in business since 1996. The puppies it sells are “from very reputable breeders located all over the country. Many of which have dogs in their breeding programs that are OFA [Orthopedic Foundation for Animals] certified,” meaning they have been checked for hip dysplasia and other health issues.
Across the country in California, a new law went into effect Jan. 1 that allows pet stores to only sell dogs (as well as cats and rabbits) from animal shelters or nonprofit animal rescue organizations. Unfortunately, many pet stores sell animals obtained from puppy mills, breeding facilities in which the dogs are usually kept in horrible conditions. California is the first state to enact a law like this, and it hopefully won’t be the last.