Three pets are still missing following a fire at a Charlottesvillle kennel.
According to a news release from Pet Paradise, the three animals — two cats and a dog — escaped the facility after the fire broke out Sunday.
“He’s really social and is always hungry, so we just hope people keep an eye out and call us if they see him,” said Emily Forthuber, who is helping her mother, Noelle Klein, look for Klein’s cat, Shadow.
Klein had planned to pick up Shadow on Monday morning, according to Forthuber, but began looking for him after seeing reports of the fire. The family has boarded animals at Pet Paradise under current and previous management before.
The fire broke out at the kennel at 601 Concord Ave. shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“We just want to express how grateful we are to the first responders, who were real heroes,” said Fernando Acosta-Rua, CEO of Pet Paradise. The company bought the kennel in November 2017. “The community also really rallied around us in a positive way; a lot of people gave late-night help.”
Acosta-Rua’s company has weathered natural disasters and storms before, but not a fire, he said.
The company had been planning a renovation, but work had not yet started, he said. On Monday, employees were clearing items from the burned building so crews could begin assessing and repairing smoke and water damage.
“We’re hopeful that people’s enthusiasm last night will help us all rally and find the missing animals,” Acosta-Rua said. “All the other stuff can be cleaned up and fixed, and right now we’re trying to make sure each animal gets home.”
The 75 pets rescued from the building either have been reunited with their owners or are at local pet-boarding facilities or veterinary hospitals.
One animal was evaluated by a veterinarian, diagnosed with a fatal heart condition and euthanized, according to Acosta-Rua. No animals died as a result of the fire.
About 10 of the rescued pets were in critical condition Sunday night, but all of them had been upgraded to stable condition by Monday, according to Pet Paradise.