GLASOW, Ky. (WBKO) -- An investigation into the cause of a fire in Whitley County is still ongoing, as is the cleanup left behind at the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter. Twenty-one dogs and three cats were rescued but firefighters say the roof collapsed before they could save the others, leaving 34 cats and one dog dead.
"I saw the shelter devastated and my heart sank." said one Whitley County woman.
"I cried and cried" added another Whitley County woman.
A volunteer said all of the animals that were able to make it out have since found homes. It's just one step in the rebuilding process.
"It's amazing, the support from the rescue community from all over." said Anita Spritzer of Homeward Bound Rescue & Rehab.
Some of that support is coming from right here in south central Kentucky. After hearing the horrific news, Barren River Animal Welfare Association, or BRAWA, is taking cash donations to help support the shelter that's more than 125 miles away. To them the distance means little, because each shelter has similar goals.
"They still do what we do. They have the same passion. We're all here for the same reason. They wanted to help the animals, that's all they wanted to. We want to help them. I'm sure they would do the same thing if the roles were reversed." said BRAWA Vice-President, Molly Taylor.
Members of BRAWA said the overwhelming loss in Whitley County can't be understated because the animals, and those who provide for them at each shelter, quickly connect with a close bond.
"They recognize your voice. As you get in from your car you'll speak to them and they'll meet you. They wag their tails and they're all excited. They are so appreciative. It's rewarding. It's the most rewarding job I've ever had." commented BRAWA Staff Member, Joan Haerr.
The group in Glasgow knows however much they raise won't mean a quick fix, but they know from experience, every little bit helps. Members of BRAWA said incidents like the fire in Whitley County are a reminder that all pet owners should include pets in their emergency plans, in case of a flood or fire in their home.