Fam­i­lies mourn dogs killed in ken­nel fire

The Detroit News - - News - As­so­ci­ated Press

Muskegon — Fam­i­lies and community mem­bers mourned the loss of 30 dogs at a memorial ser­vice af­ter a western Michi­gan ken­nel was en­gulfed in flames.

Clock Fu­neral Home in Muskegon held the ser­vice Thurs­day to honor the pets that died in the fire at Storm’s Ahead Ken­nels in Fruit­port Town­ship. The ken­nel was full when the fire oc­curred March 30, the first day of spring break for many lo­cal fam­i­lies.

“We’ve re­ceived sup­port from friends and fam­ily over the whole process,” said Nick Buck­ner, who lost his 11-month-old puppy Rem­ing­ton. “It’s how we ended our spring break trip, so that was dif­fi­cult, but it was an ac­ci­dent. So we try to un­der­stand that and take things as it comes.”

Ken­nel owner Janet Re­hfus said dur­ing the ser­vice that there aren’t enough words for how bad she feels.

“That Fri­day morn­ing mak­ing the phone calls to each and ev­ery one of you, cer­tainly a night­mare that I never imag­ined that I would have to do,” she said.

Fire­fight­ers couldn’t res­cue the dogs from the ken­nel, which was al­ready cov­ered in flames when they ar­rived. Author­i­ties de­ter­mined the fire was an ac­ci­dent, but haven’t yet iden­ti­fied the cause.

Re­hfus shared anec­dotes about the dogs play­ing to­gether and need­ing coax­ing to re­turn in­doors.

“They’re now with their friends,” Fu­neral Di­rec­tor Jodi Clock told the griev­ing fam­i­lies. “They were with their friends when this hap­pened and they are with their friends now.”

Mike Krebs / AP

Clock Fu­neral Home held a ser­vice to honor 30 pets that died at Storm’s Ahead Ken­nel.

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