LAKE STATION | The majority of the dogs spared from a garage fire Sunday had been rescued once before, a spokeswoman for a local dog rescue group said.
Brittany Wesley, president of Homeward Hound Rescue, said 10 dogs saved from the fire had been rescued by her group several weeks ago after they had been left abandoned from a house in southern Indiana.
Wesley said the Lake Station homeowners are associated with the rescue and were fostering the animals.
The owners did not return messages for comment Monday and declined to comment Sunday at the scene.
The 10 animals, including the mother dog and her nine puppies, all were in stable condition Monday after being taken to a local veterinary clinic, Wesley said.
"When the dogs receive a clean bill of health they will be ready for adoption," she said.
Lake Station Fire Chief Robert Janes said the garage fire in the 2800 block of Clay Street started at 6 p.m. and was caused by a heat lamp. The lamp was on top of a dog cage, but a dog in the cage was not injured.
He said there were 17 dogs in the house. As of Monday night, it was unclear where the other seven dogs were taken.
The fire spread to a nearby wall and was contained to the garage structure, Janes said. None of the animals was seriously injured, and none of the family members in the house was hurt.
Janes said the 17 rescued dogs were initially taken to the Humane Society of Hobart, where they were checked for injuries.
City officials said the incident remains under investigation because of the large number of dogs found inside the garage.
City ordinances allow for five animals per household.
There also were reportedly four cats at the home, but those animals could not immediately be found Sunday, Janes said.
Wesley said Homeward Hound Rescue, based in Schererville, was founded about a year ago. She said there are only about 10 to 12 members in the group, including those like the Lake Station family, which open their doors to rescued animals for a few days or several weeks.
The dogs rescued by the group include those who are in overcrowded shelters and those unwanted or abandoned by their owners.
So far the group has rescued 250 dogs.
"We're small but mighty," Wesley said.
Homeward Hound Rescue can be reached by calling (219) 776-9775.