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House Fire Survivors Need Forever Homes
Tragedy strikes home of foster volunteer
Chloe is one of four foster dogs to surprise everyone and survive a house fire in Benton City, Wash.

Volunteering to help rescue animals can be gratifying work but it can also be hard; there are setbacks and disappointments, as we were just reminded by Judy Devine-Geuther of Kennewick, Wash. As a member of HeARTs Speak, Devine-Geuther volunteers her time and substantial talents to photograph dogs in such a way that helps them get adopted. Recently, she photographed an adorable crew of foster dogs in the care of volunteer Linda Brown. Soon after the photo shoot, she learned Brown’s Benton City, Wash., home had burned down in an accidental fire on February 4. Initially, as many as 12 dogs were presumed dead.

Several of the dogs were being fostered for Forgotten Dogs Rescue. Katherine Farrington, who runs that group, stopped by the house at midnight after the fire. While peering through a fence the fire department had erected, she saw a dog. She called dispatch. A policeman searched the burned out house and spotted Chloe (left, in a photo taken by Devine-Geuther before the fire). He called Farrington in to help catch Chloe, who bolted under the bed when they tried to get close. Because of all the debris and ash, he insisted they return in daylight to rescue the dog.

Farrington called the fire department the following morning without results. Brown went to her house around 11 and called for Chloe, who came to the fence. Brown was able to grab her. She also saw Sugar and one of her own Pomeranians, but they were too scared to come out.

On the following day, four more canine survivors were discovered including three foster dogs—Sunshine, Teddy and Sugar—as well as one of Brown’s own dogs. They probably survived by hiding under the bed.

Chloe has been adopted but Sunshine, Teddy and Sugar need homes now more than ever. As Devine-Geuther says, “These dogs have been through so much, they are truly deserving a permanent place to call home.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful to turn this terrible accident into something good for these survivors? Learn more at Forgotten Dogs Rescue (Teddy and Sugar) and Mikey’s Chance Canine Rescue (Sunshine).

All the surviving dogs were treated by a veterinarian for smoke exposure. You can contribute to cover the dogs’ $500 veterinary bill via Forgotten Dogs Rescue page on Petfinder.com.


Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom.

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Photo by by Judy Devine-Geuther.

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