SMYRNA – Local nonprofit founder and animal activist Sarah Hill described a house fire in Smyrna that nearly took her dogs from her, and discussed the reasons behind her recent donation of pet based oxygen mask kits to fire departments throughout Chenango County.
According to East Coast Adoptions Founder Sarah Hill, the organization was created in 2007 with the goal of rescuing dogs and puppies from high kill, overpopulated areas in the south, to give them a chance of a good life up north. Hill said the idea to purchase and donate the pet based oxygen masks came to her after nearly losing some of her own dogs in an electrical fire that claimed her home.
Hill added that the Smyrna, Sherburne, North Norwich, Plymouth and Earlville fire departments have received oxygen masks with the goal of saving dogs who are suffering from smoke inhalation related to house fires.
“On June 13, 2018, in Smyrna, my husband and I woke up at 4:45 a.m. to one of our dogs growling,” she said. “We saw an amber go past one of our windows in the upstairs bedroom, and my husband ran downstairs and saw our deck and entire side of the house was on fire – the flames were up to the roof.”
She said they yelled for their dogs to get outside and went with them before realizing that some of the dogs hadn’t been able to make it out.
“When we got outside, we realized we were missing two of our dogs, and my husband ran back in and upstairs to carry them down because they were too scared to move,” said Hill. “Less than a minute later, he came out with them and the fire broke into the house.”