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April 05, 2012 06:23 AM

Several Dogs, Cats Die In SD Animal Shelter Fire

hot springs, sd

Fire has destroyed an animal shelter north of the southwest South Dakota city of Hot Springs, killing several animals and sending one person to the hospital for stitches.

The blaze happened Wednesday afternoon at the Battle Mountain Humane Society, where the main caretaker lived in a small apartment attached to the lone building.

Officials say as many as eight cats and dogs died in the fire and dozens more were displaced. Society board member Cheryl Fair says that facility founder and caretaker Tonia Wagoner cut her hand helping dogs escape and needed stitches.

The animals who survived are being kept in pastures surrounding the facility until temporary shelter can be arranged.

The cause of the fire was not immediately determined.

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