Twenty dogs died in a fire that destroyed a Union County home on Wednesday, while at least 35 others survived, officials said.
All the dogs were of the small Chinese Crested (Powderpuff) breed, said Lt. Lynn Yow, who oversees the Animal Services division of the sheriff’s office.
The woman who owned the dogs was burned trying to rescue the ones still in the home, but heavy smoke prevented her from getting them out, Yow said. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The gutted home is in the 7000 block of Secrest Shortcut Road in Indian Trail. The home went up in flames at about 11 a.m., Yow said.
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The woman’s husband was outside when the fire started and was not hurt, investigators said.
Animal Services officers had been working with the woman for two weeks to try to help her reduce the population of dogs at the home, Yow said. “She was very cooperative,” he said.
Deputy Fire Marshal Jon Williams said the cause is still being investigated, but no foul play is suspected.
Yow said the woman will choose whether to surrender the dogs or keep them once she’s released from the hospital.