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December 4, 2013

Fire crews called back to shelter

Smoking debris cause concern, mobile kennels delivered

CORBIN — By LeeAnn Cain / Staff Writer

Firefighters from Woodbine Volunteer Fire and Rescue were called back to the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter Tuesday evening following a report of smoke from the building’s remains.

According to firefighter Adam Jackson of Woodbine Fire and Rescue the smoke was from a small hotspot, which happened when the building’s remains began to heat up and smoke. However, the fire did not rekindle and the hotspot was doused before a flame could rise.

Tuesday also saw the delivery of a mobile animal shelter from the Laurel County Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP). According to Rob Lowe with the Laurel County CSEPP the mobile shelters are available for emergencies in which people have to evacuate. Low went on to say that animals aren’t allowed at Red Cross shelters, and that no state plans exist for animals.

After the March 2012 tornadoes in East Bernstadt, the CSEPP of Kentucky realized that there was a gap in between emergency procedures for humans and emergency procedures for their pets, and so the mobile kennel came about, Low said. Another kennel will arrive from Jessamine County Thursday. These kennels have heating and cooling, a veterinary station, and running water, and can house a maximum of 45 animals, less if the panels between cages have to be removed to accommodate large dogs.

The mobile unit is primarily to house stray and abandoned animals, and shelter staff are still advising people to care for their animals or to look into other rescue organizations until a temporary facility is found.

According to the shelter’s public relations spokesperson Theresa Martin, a couple of options for new buildings have presented themselves, but they must be discussed by the shelter’s board and approved before any further action can be taken.

Martin says that they are still seeking a building that is of adequate size and is low-rent or donated for shelter use. Even after a building is secured, kennels and other containment structures must be installed to house animals.

Martin went on to say that shelter staff is slowly beginning to think about rebuilding the shelter, but the future site of the shelter is uncertain. Martin said the new shelter “may or may not be on-site” and the final outcome depends on the extent of the damage done to the original building by the fire.

The shelter is still waiting for an assessment from their insurance company to determine the full amount of damage done and when staff can safely enter what remains of the building.

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