An East Texas animal rescue ranch is cleaning up today, after fire destroyed one of its main buildings. Homeward Bound Animal Rescue Ranch in Tyler is home to more than 70 dogs and cats. Yesterday morning, fire burned down the trailer where the animals' caretakers lived.
More than 50 dogs run around the field at this 28-acre ranch. But Sunday morning, Homeward Bound lost two of them.
"We lost a German Shepherd named Misha. And she was Rowdy's, the caretaker's son, personal dog. And that was a great loss to him. And we lost one of our ARF dogs, a little corgi named Nickie. And so we're really heart broken over that," Angie Alsobrook, ARF president, said.
Alsobrook founded the East Texas Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) about two years ago. The animal rescue ranch let a family of four live in an on-site trailer for free. In exchange, the family would help take care of the animals and let the dogs take turns staying inside. But now, exactly one year after they moved in, the family is out of a home, and the animals here are without full-time caretakers. Volunteers must work out a daily schedule to take care of the animals, at least until a new structure is built to replace the old one.
"This place is really special to us. This is a dream come true. When this land was donated to us, it was a dream come true for Animal Rescue to have a place for the animals and to have a place for people to come and adopt," Alsobrook said.
Amid tragedy, the Animal Rescue Fund is glad the family got out safely. Investigators say the fire likely started because of Christmas decorations placed too close to the fireplace. The Animal Rescue Fund says insurance will cover some, but not all, of the loss. If you'd like to make a donation, call ARF at 903-569-6663.