FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rebekah Wells
Doggy Dreams Go Up in Flames
(March 31, 2016; Beaumont, TX) Imagine you have just made a new best friend. Then, the
night before you and your new best friend move in together, you wake up in the early hours of
the morning to discover he/she has perished in a tragic fire. This is, sadly, the reality for Anna
Parker and her mother, Cindy, who had adopted a sweet golden retriever, Rocco, and planned
to pick him up the next day. Unfortunately, Rocco perished in the fire at the Humane Society
on the night of Tuesday, March 15, 2016.
“When we arrived [that night] almost all of the dogs-including our new fur baby to be
renamed Roscoe-perished in the fire,” recounts Anna Parker. “I was waiting to make the
announcement of our new addition til we picked him up to go
home to Houston. Sadly, his name tags and ‘Birthday Boy’ doggy
biscuit will not be given to him.”
Less than 13 dogs out of 87 survived the March 15 fire. The culprit? A faulty dryer
caught fire in the middle of the night.
The Humane Society staff are now left to mend the broken pieces by making sure the surviving
animals are cared for as well as attempting to heal their own feelings of pain and grief. Monica
Lee, the Education Director for the Humane Society holds this loss close to her heart.
“Between that night and now, the horror and hopelessness have become tears and
“We didn’t get
heartbreak for the staff and volunteers,” explains Lee. “We have lost animals before but this
time was different, inconceivable, unacceptable. Our hearts are hurting. There is no amount of
strength that could have ever prepared us for that night’s terror.
For most, this is unfathomable. The horrors of that night will haunt the lives of animal
lovers, Humane Society employees, and volunteers for years. The extent of damage from this
fire is not only to the building itself-which alone is extensive-but to the victims as well.
The Humane Society of Southeast Texas has served our area “for 45 years, providing a
home, love, and care to 150 to 200 animals at any one time,” states Lee. “Now, the ceilings are
caved in, the walls are covered in ash, and ghosts walk the hallways.”
Recovery from the damage alone seems nearly impossible. But there is hope for the
survivors and for the Humane Society of rebuilding and overcoming this disaster. In order to
repair the building, the Humane Society will need $800,000. In the past 13 days, they have
been able to raise $36,415 through various fundraisers and their gofundme.com page.
Surrounding communities are encouraged to do whatever they can to help; even donations as
small as $5.00 are welcomed.
“Our small, local community has been overwhelming in their support,” says Lee. “We’ve
also received calls and emails from all over [the country]. Just today, we were called from a
shelter in England that experienced a fire several years ago; they wanted to let us know we can
For updates on shelter recover, how the surviving animals are recovering, or how you
can help, visit their website at http://www.humanesocietyofsoutheasttexas.org or their
Facebook page. If you would like to make a donation or receive updates on events and
recovery please visit the gofundme account at https://www.gofundme.com/HSSETShelterFire .
All donations and support are appreciated.
For more information contact Rae Palmer, the business office administrator for the
Humane Society, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.