Fortunately, no injuries were reported at Home Depot or the nearby veterinary hospital and pet campus.
On Monday, San Jose Police (SJPD) shared a new look at Saturday’s rescue mission. As the massive fire ripped through Home Depot, stills from cameras carried by officers captured what it took to save dozens of Wagly’s pets. The business is located right next door.
“I was definitely traumatized, not him,” dog owner Corey Dodgson said of his 9-month-old malty-poop named Archie. Saturday turned out to be Archie’s first try at night boarding.
VIDEO: Crews continue to extinguish hot spots at San Jose Home Depot after massive fire destroys building
Hours after dropping him off, Dodgson found herself rushing through the area with smoke billowing from the nearby building.
“We came out and there was a huge amount of smoke – and we’re about 5 miles from Home Depot,” Dodgson told ABC7 News. “I immediately grabbed his harness and leash thinking, well, maybe I can grab him. I picked up the 85 and just saw the plumes of smoke and immediately thought, I can’t catch it.”
Through social media, she learned that all the animals had been evacuated.
“I was more than relieved to hear that all the dogs were put in vans – employee cars, police cars – they literally threw them in cars and pulled them out of there,” said she continued.
Dodgson explained that she was confident Wagly staff would be able to evacuate any pets inside, commenting on the level of care she received. She noted that collars and harnesses are usually removed from dogs when they enter Wagly for safety reasons.
VIDEO: Massive fire tears Home Depot apart in SJ
She added: “My biggest fear was that he would eventually come off and not have a tag on him. And he would run and dodge cars and things like that.”
On Saturday, many owners were sent to nearby Golfland, where many were reunited with their dogs.
By phone, ABC7 News reached out to the owner of 8-year-old Kiki. She is a 26-pound Cocker Spaniel-Terrier mix.
Kiki’s humans were heading back into town, spotting the smoke miles away.
“My wife said, ‘Oh my God, Home Depot is on fire. It’s like, ‘Oh, crazy! You know, it’s part of the complex that Wagly is in,'” Jann Fabrin said. “So we took him down. We got off at Santa Teresa and got as close as we could.”
He explained that Kiki was nowhere to be found at Golfland.
“Finally at 10 a.m. they said, ‘Oh, yeah, she was delivered to the Campbell MedVet about 30 minutes ago, a little before 10 a.m.,'” Fabrin told ABC7 News. down, she was checked for smoke inhalation and was fine.”
He said the family was finally reunited around 11 p.m.
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“It was just an unfortunate circumstance and, you know, in hindsight, Wagly and other companies probably have to have a really good contingency plan – when things get crazy – to make sure everything is taken care of. “, added Fabrin.
On Monday afternoon, the city said seven dogs and one cat remain at the San Jose Animal Care Center.
“My saving grace on this trip was that it was a trial and I was in town,” Dodgson said. “And that I wasn’t across the United States, you know? Or you know, some people were on their honeymoon in another country.”
ABC7 News contacted Wagly, but did not hear back.
The Wagly website says the location on Blossom Hill Road remains temporarily closed due to damage from the nearby fire.
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