BALTIMORE — It was just before 1pm Wednesday when Paul Coe detected an alarming smell from inside his home in Rodgers Forge.
“I started to smell like a plastic burning smell… electronic fire type smell,” said Coe, “So I came out and saw my neighbor just coming out of his door and smoke billowing out the front and we knew he has dogs.”
Not just a few dogs… three adult Pointers and four puppies.
As neighbors began aiding in the rescue, they learned there were even more.
“As we were going out back to kind of check on things, one of the investigators came out and said there were three more dogs in the basement, like little puppies,” said Jen Engers, “So we were able to go in and get them out even thought they were terrified and hiding behind this toilet in the downstairs basement area.”
In the aftermath of the fire, questions remain over why there where 10 dogs inside the home.
While county residents are limited by code to three adult dogs in a household, additional puppies are allowed so it doesn’t appear the owner was in violation, but it doesn’t necessarily end there.
“We’re not super happy living next door a breeding dog situation, because sometimes there are smells and a lot of noise, but it is what it is,” said Coe, “I don’t fault the guy for trying to make a living or doing what he loves, but that was the situation, because he’s been breeding dogs for quite some time.”
Animal Services says all of the dogs appear to be healthy after the fire, although some were exposed to heat and smoke and treated with a special oxygen device designed for pets.
They took custody of the dogs since the owner was incapacitated with smoke inhalation. By law, the owner has 72 hours to reclaim the dogs, but for now their fate remains unknown.
Officials say conditions inside the home were extremely cluttered and have ruled the fire accidental, caused by an unspecified electrical failure in the dining room area.
Editor’s Note: Fire officials initially said six dogs were rescued. They have since changed that number to 10.