A woman who cares for dozens of animals is figuring out how to provide for them after flames tore through her Goochland home.
Annette Thompson's house off Tabscott Road will likely be condemned after Tuesday afternoon's fire. However, her main concern wasn't that she lost her home and everything in it. Thompson wanted to make sure that she could still find a way to care for the 75 dogs she keeps in her shelter, the Pet Rescue Foundation.
"She was one of my first rescues, and no one ever wanted her," said Thompson of a black dog she placed in her truck.
Thompson, who is a former Richmond police officer, uses her $1,200 retirement check each month to care for the animals.
"When I was a police officer, I helped people. Now that I'm not a police officer, I help animals," explained Thompson.
For 22 years, Annette has given homes to stray dogs and other animals on her farm. Now, Thompson worries that the fire will drain her funds for the shelter. "It's going to be bad probably, for a month... I don't even know. I haven't contacted insurance yet."
Thompson rescued five dogs from her burning home. One house cat, and a pet mouse, was killed. However, Thompson won't leave the place she calls home. She's determined to rebuild and continue the rescue. She is staying at a room in her shelter, keeping close to her biggest support group.
"I'm going to sleep in the kennel building down the hill with my dogs. They know something has happened, and I'm not going to leave them alone," said Thompson.
Fire officials say the vinyl siding of the house caught fire after coals from a wood burning stove were put outside.
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