PORT ORANGE, Fla. – Port Orange police said at least five dogs were found dead inside a home that caught fire Monday morning in Port Orange.
Investigators said the woman who lived in the home at 431 Leslie Drive housed 32 animals there — 31 dogs and a cat. Neighbors said the homeowner was known for taking in animals, but they did not realize how many lived there.
“There are a handful of animals that we know are deceased inside; Two dogs that were sent to the animal hospital to receive oxygen, but they all are OK,” Sgt. William Harrison said.
The woman who lived in the home was able to escape the fire without getting hurt. Fire officials have deemed the home uninhabitable.
Investigators said the cause of the fire is unknown, but as investigators continue to figure out what happened they do know the homeowner was in violation of the city code.
“In the city of Port Orange, you can only have four cats and dogs combined, so this is obviously a violation of that when you are up in the 30s, but right now we are investigating if there are charges,” Harrison said.
Police said the woman who owns the home surrendered the majority of her animals but is attempting to keep a few.
It’s unclear if she will be able to keep them, but police say this incident was hard to take in.
“No one likes seeing an animal in distress. It’s heartbreaking, but the good thing is we got them out and we can get them the medical care they need and we’ll address it however we come up with it after our investigation,” Harrison said.