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Legislation addresses fire safety at kennels

Thursday, October 14, 2021 by Amy Smith

A Williamson County lawmaker has filed a bill that would require all Texas kennel operators to have a fire-safety system in place to prevent another tragedy like the one that occurred last month at a Georgetown pet boarding facility.

Seventy-five dogs died of smoke inhalation when a fire broke out at the Ponderosa Pet Resort on the night of Sept. 18. Since then, more than 18,000 people (as of Wednesday) have signed a Change.org petition calling for statewide regulations on the installation of fire detection systems in kennels.

Earlier this month, James Talarico of Round Rock introduced House Bill 147, which has not yet been assigned to a committee. The city of Georgetown is also considering updating its fire code to require all pet kennels to install measures such as sprinkler systems, smoke detectors or fire alarm systems.

Talarico’s bill calls for all pet boarding facilities to install a smoke or similar detection system that would automatically alert an employee and the fire department should a fire break out. The alternative for an alarm system would be to always have an employee on-site.

“The fire in Georgetown was absolutely gut-wrenching,” Talarico said in a press statement. “After the fire, our community rallied together and called for action. Our legislation will ensure accidents like this never happen again in Texas.”

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