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A total of 10 dogs died after floodwaters from heavy rains in Washington, D.C. caused the walls of the dog day care, District Dogs, to collapse on Monday, August 14.
According to the Washington Post‘s report, an official from Humane Rescue Alliance provided the death count from the devastating incident at District Dogs’ 680 Rhode Island Ave. location the following day.
While 20 dogs were reportedly rescued from the dog day care, a total of 10 dogs didn’t make it and passed away.
During the severe storm on Monday, 6 feet of water caused the front glass wall of the dog day care to collapse, trapping both dogs and employees.
Humane Rescue Alliance said in a statement that they are currently in possession of the dogs’ remains and will help families make arrangements to retrieve them.
D.C. Fire and EMS Chief John Donnelly told reporters that they noticed a “rapid buildup” of heavy rain underneath the nearby Rhode Island Avenue railroad bridge on Monday.
Donnelly also revealed that the District Dogs’ staff rescued as many dogs as they can while the water rose significantly inside the facility.
WUSA9 reported that pet owners were anxiously waiting outside the dog day care as crews cut into the walls to rescue as many pooches as they can.
Jacob Hensley, District Dogs’ owner, released two statement on Twitter to address the incident. He called the incident an “absolute tragedy”.
Hensley wrote, “We are heartbroken and want to express our profound sadness to our clients who are dealing with the loss of beloved members of their families.”
“As animal lovers and strong advocates for animal welfare ourselves, this is deeply and personally painful.”
Hensley didn’t forget to thank his staff and the first responders for their efforts in saving as many dogs as they can.
Furthermore, he said the staff worked heroically to save as many dogs as they can, “despite real danger to their own lives.”
This is not the first time flooding has affected District Dogs. In the same month last year, the dog day care had experienced two floods in a week’s time.
Employees couldn’t safely get out of the building during storms. And staff had to scramble to get 50 dogs to safety due to the flooding.
Hensley has urged D.C. officials to address the problem last year after District Dogs’ suffered from three floods in less than a month.
“I haven’t been told anything more than what I already know, which is that there’s a tunnel that will come online next year,” said Hensley in an interview with WUSA9 last year.
And because of the devastating incident last week, complaints by residents are being brought up again, saying that officials should do more, especially for an area that is prone to flooding.
D.C. Water said in a statement, “DC Water is commissioning the tunnel now and it is expected to open by the end of September, adding 90 million gallons of storage for stormwater,”
They continued, “The tunnel, which is designed for a 15-year storm, will not prevent all flooding from intense storms but will lesson their impact.”