Las Vegas "Arson Puppies” Find Homes at Auction

Nearly a month after being rescued from a pet store arson, 25 puppies are finding their way to new homes.

By | Posted: March 26, 2014, 10 a.m. PST

In January, 25 puppies and two adult dogs were rescued from a fire at the Prince and Princess Pet Boutique in Las Vegas. After a week long court battle and a unique raffle approach the puppies are finally getting a chance to have real homes.  

photo from Animal Foundation  photo from Animal Foundation

Participants of the auction were asked to submit an adoption application and purchase a $250 raffle ticket for a chance at taking one of the puppies home. The estranged husband of the woman who is accused of arson in the pet store, Donald Thompson, argued that the Animal Foundation who took care of the puppies after the fire, was staging a raffle to make a profit off the puppies. Thompson wanted the puppies placed through the private rescue A Home 4 Spot, but the lawsuit was settled and both sides agreed on the raffle.

The auction put on by Animal Foundation's finally came to a close yesterday after being held up in the court battle for a week.  An email sent from the Foundation stated that, 222 participants paid $250 per entry for the chance to adopt one of the puppies. In the end, the raffle raised $55,000 for the Foundation, which has taken care of the dogs since the pet-shop fire.

According to the auction website, winners will be subject to in-person adoption screening and home check by The Animal Foundation and A Home For Spot including. The website also states that adoptions can and will be denied to participants who do not meet all adoption requirements or in the instance that the placement is not in the best interest of the dog. 

Meghan Scheibe, marketing and public relations manager for the Animal Foundation says, "We weren't really sure what to expect.” However, Scheibe anticipated that interest would pick up near the end of the raffle, which it did.

Even before the raffle was publicized, more than 1,000 people had called about adopting the dogs.

Organizers stated the entry fee covers the cost of adoption of one dog through the Animal Foundation. The rest of the money paid by those who did not win a chance of adoption will go to subsidizing future adoptions.

Surveillance video from the pet store shows a woman letting a man into the pet store, where he tried to start a fire using kerosene and gasoline splashed onto the animal cages. The blaze was extinguished by a sprinkler system in the store, and the dogs survived unharmed.

It is believed that the fire was started by Gloria Lee, the pet shop’s majority owner and co-owner Donald Thompson’s estranged wife, and Boxer Kirk Bills, who face 31 charges, including 27 counts of attempted animal cruelty in a trial set for July.


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