SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Scottsdale Fire Department officials say 16 dogs were killed in a house fire overnight.
Emergency crews from Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix responded to the fire near the Loop 101 and Thomas around 10 p.m. Thursday. They found heavy smoke and flames from the back of the home with reports of dogs still inside.
Crews were able to extinguish the fire and were able to rescue eight dogs from inside. One dog was treated on scene and taken to a veterinarian for evaluation. An additional 16 dogs perished in the fire.
Homeowners say they are an unofficial rescue shelter for dogs.
“Just because somebody has a passion for taking care of animals doesn’t mean they have the capability of caring an animal,” said Jose Santiago with the Maricopa Animal Care and Control.
Currently, no law in Arizona exists regulating pet rescues in the state, who can open a pet rescue, or how many pets a person can have and there’s nothing in the works currently to address the issue, enforcement, or regulation.
“As a comfort level, it would be best to have a governing body that could go in and make sure that the right types of procedures are being followed but right now, unfortunately, we're at the mercy of that kind of law,” Santiago said. “There’s not an agency that’s going to come in and regulate what you’re doing besides the IRS.”
The cause of the fire has not been determined, but fire investigators believe the fire started in the kitchen because that’s where the heaviest damage was.