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Sanctuary feels devastation of second fire

BY: Rikki Cason | November 24, 2012

Thomas T. Butterball celebrated his 11th Thanksgiving Thursday with the Lakeview Animal Sanctuary.

The turkey, which already has lived double his lifespan, has also recently survived two devastating fires.

At around 11 a.m. Nov. 17, the sanctuary was on its way to a pre-holiday Pro Plan pet expo at the Big Tree Fire Hall. While on Mile Strip Road, their 1999 Chevy Blazer, which had two volunteers, Thomas and dog Angel inside began to smoke at the front end of the car.

The two pulled over and were able to rescue Thomas and Angel before the vehicle went up in flames.

Sanctuary Director Sandi Pfohl, who was just ahead of the vehicle in her truck and trailer carrying 12 animals, said flames reached 100 feet in the air and the tires exploded.

Because the gas tank was full, Pfohl said the fire department told her that avoided the tank from exploding. If it had been less than half full the vapors would have blown up.

Angel ran down Mile Strip Road, but was rescued by a volunteer.

“Thank God no one was hurt,” said Pfohl.

Because of the age of the vehicle and needing every penny of money to go to her animals, Pfohl only had liability insurance on the vehicle.

“Everything is on such a budget here,” said Pfohl. “If it is a matter of paying $400 for insurance or feeding the animals, it’s going to go to the animals.”

This is the second fire for the Sanctuary in the last few months. On Sept. 11, a barn fire claimed the life of more than 70 animals.

A new barn will be constructed starting next week. Thanks to a donation from Parco Builders, it will only cost the Sanctuary $36,000 for the 100 feet by 32 feet barn, instead of more than $60,000.

The barn will be tan and burgundy and have two garage doors, six windows on each side, an office, grain room and a stall for each animal.

“It’s going to be a really, really nice barn,” said Pfohl. “Everyone will have their own space.”

Pictures of the barns progress will be posted on the Lakeview Animal Sanctuary’s Facebook page.

A pet psychic and spiritual healers will also come to the Sanctuary to bless the grave site and cleanse the area.

The Sanctuary is still in need of donations of hay and cinder blocks.

Each month Pfohl goes through 120 bails of hay. When the animals are brought back to the Sanctuary after the barn completion, they will be in desperate need of hay.

For more information or to donate visit www.lakeviewanimalsanctuary.org.

The Lakeview Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that provides homes for unwanted, injured, abused or abandoned animals.

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