10.8.21 – KVUE – AUSTIN, Texas
Texas Rep. James Talarico has filed a bill that, if passed, would require fire alarms and sprinkler systems in dog kennels if the kennel is not staffed 24/7. The bill, House Bill 147, aims to ensure that a deadly fire never happens again, according to a press release from Talarico’s office sent on Oct. 7.
Following a devastating fire that killed 75 dogs at the Ponderosa Pet Resort in Georgetown, a Texas legislator is pushing for reform in dog kennels.
Texas Rep. James Talarico has filed a bill that, if passed, would require fire alarms and sprinkler systems in dog kennels if the kennel is not staffed 24/7. The bill, House Bill 147, aims to ensure that a deadly fire never happens again, according to a press release from Talarico’s office
“The fire in Georgetown was absolutely gut-wrenching. My heart goes out to the families that lost their loving companions,” Talarico said in a written statement. “After the fire, our community rallied together and called for action. Our legislation will ensure accidents like this never happen again in Texas.”
- Cause of fire at Ponderosa Pet Resort that killed 75 dogs is still unclear
- Georgetown City Council approves memorial for 75 dogs killed in pet resort fire
- Community members push to change pet facility laws following the deadly Ponderosa Pet Resort fire
When the fire broke out at the Georgetown pet boarding facility on the night of Sept. 18, no staff was on-site. Twenty-five firefighters responded to the building 4.5 minutes after multiple 911 calls were made and discovered heavy fire and smoke. They were unable to save any of the dogs inside.
Dog lovers and community advocates put together a petition following the fire and gathered more than 17,000 signatures from people calling for legislative action.
KVUE spoke with one of the petition organizers, who said she and many others were surprised to find out that the pet resort was not required by law to have an overnight employee and that the building was not required to have fire alarms or sprinkler systems.
Because this legislation is not on the call for the Special Session, the bill cannot become law without a change to the call from Governor Greg Abbott.
“Even if we’re not successful in that effort, I at least want to start the conversation about the need for this type of legislation so that in the regular session in 2023, we can be in a position to pass this quickly with a bipartisan vote,” Talarico said.