A fire at a suburban residence in Martinez on Tuesday revealed an apparent pet hoard that included around 70 dogs and cats, all of which suddenly need new homes.
There were apparently three humans and about six dozen animals living at a home on Barber Lane Martinez before a fire Tuesday displaced them all.
The Contra Costa Fire Protection District tweeted out images of the extraordinary find, after reporting that two people at the home were uninjured and one was treated for smoke inhalation.
Contra Costa firefighters responded to the scene around 11:25 a.m. Tuesday, saying it was a residential structure fire.
The photos, taken after the fire was under control, show a fenced in backyard area and dozens of what look like Pomeranians running around. One could give the residents the benefit of the doubt and say they were breeders, but reputable breeders wouldn't be operating a puppy mill of this scale in a home. 70 dogs and cats?! Did they all live indoors?
A Google Street View image of the home from 2019 shows it in serious disrepair, with tarps over the peak of the roof apparently to address leaks.
"Con Fire, assisted by Martinez PD, CCC animal control & many helpful neighbors, safely removed as many as 70 dogs & cats from today's Barber Lane fire in Martinez," the department tweeted. Now all those animals, as well as the humans, are displaced.
Con Fire says that the cause of the fire does not appear to be suspicious.
Barber Lane garage fire in Martinez has been knocked down. One resident transported to hospital for smoke inhalation, two other residents uninjured. Firefighters rescuing multiple dogs. Fire under investigation. #barberic pic.twitter.com/sf9LzzGDzy— Con Fire PIO (@ContraCostaFire) January 17, 2023
Con Fire, assisted by Martinez PD, CCC animal control & many helpful neighbors, safely removed as many as 70 dogs & cats from today's Barber Lane fire in Martinez. Three residents & numerous pets displaced. Investigation has dtermined fire not suspicious in nature. #barberic pic.twitter.com/HeA5DQRlvH— Con Fire PIO (@ContraCostaFire) January 17, 2023
Pet hoards like this are typically dealt with by county authorities as they pose health issues for the animals and humans. A hoard of some 80 dogs, cats, and other animals were rescued from a home in Los Angeles County last March. The resident, an elderly woman who was reported by a neighbor, had reportedly been living in the home without electricity or water for five years.