Investigators still seeking cause of kennel fire that killed approximately 30 dogs

Posted at 4:28 PM, Mar 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-30 16:28:30-04

NUNICA, Mich. - Investigators still aren't sure what caused a fire that destroyed a Muskegon County kennel, killing dozens of dogs that were boarded for Spring Break.

The fire happened at about 5:00 a.m. Friday at Storm's Ahead Kennels in Fruitport Township.  Firefighters say that they don't believe that the fire was intentionally set.

Jennifer Nunez tells FOX 17 she was called about 6:45 a.m. Friday that there had been a fire and her 11-month-old Newfoundland puppy Harley had been killed.  Nunez and her family were on their way south for Spring Break.

"It is just unbelievable," Nunez said by phone. "She went there last night and both my children are just devastated and really not looking forward to going home and seeing all her belongings around the house."

The official count of pets lost in the fire is still unclear, but officials estimate there were about 30 dogs at the kennel.

The owners of the kennel posted on Facebook they are devastated and lost their own personal dogs in the fire too. They were contacting families individually.

The Muskegon Humane Society recommends that when you are boarding a pet, you should ask for the kennel's safety protocols.  They also recommend asking your veterinarian for referrals and asking if the kennel has smoke alarms or someone checking on animals overnight.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Agriculture say that the state only requires large-scale breeding shelters to register statewide.  Kennels like Storm's Ahead must register locally.  The Muskegon County Clerk said that the kennel would have to be registered at the city level, but with Friday being a holiday, FOX 17 was unable to confirm licensing for Storm's Ahead at the Fruitport Township Office.

We'll have more updates when they become available.