Christmas Eve Fire at the Beagle Kennel in Middletown, MD

We were overwhelmed by the response to a post on our facebook page about a fire that happened on Christmas Eve to the Beagle Kennels in Middletown, MD and wanted to follow up. During the late hours of Christmas Eve, and early hours of Christmas morning a terrible fire tore through the beagle kennel, located in Middletown, MD. Passersby bravely ran towards the fire and retrieved as many dogs as they could. The original post read as follows:

This is Dr. Ahalt’s wife, and Dr. A will be upset at me for posting this but I really want people to understand the heart and soul and care that he puts into providing veterinary medicine in the Frederick MD community. Yesterday, Christmas Eve, he worked tirelessly in the animal hospital and came home, where work didn’t stop and he checked over a stray dog that had found his way to our farm and played with him for a bit (we are still looking for the owner) (Edited update, the owner was found - he was also in Frederick MD, the dog had traveled a few miles over fields. Dog and owner were reunited on the eve of Christmas Day)

Around midnight Christmas eve, after Dr. Ahalt had just gotten into bed, his phone rang. He answered and was told there had been a terrible fire at a kennel in Middletown MD that is home to around 22 hounds. It had burned to the ground, there were injured hounds and they needed help immediately. Without hesitation or pause, my husband got up, got dressed and left in the middle of the night to go to the kennel. I met him there as, with that many animals lots of hands are ... well, handy. I got to see the community come together in the early hours of Christmas morning to help the survivors of the fire. Puppies were held, hounds were treated and tears were shed. 

I got to watch my husband work to treat all the surviving hounds and it was pretty amazing. I am always impressed by his work ethic and dedication, but this was something else, and I don’t quite have the right words to articulate his calmness at treating that many animals with such varying levels of trauma. 

We left the kennel around 3am and got home around 3:30. The children woke up with excitement at 5am, completely unaware that their dad had worked through the wee hours of the night. Now, he is sleeping. I do not have the words to say how proud I am, and I know he will be upset that I have posted this, but it’s Christmas, and I cannot let his actions and selfless dedication go by without saying something. 

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your families, please spare a thought and prayer for the puppies that were lost last night, the ones who are recovering and the people who love them.

Dr. Ahalt provided his services that night at no charge. The surviving beagles had severe burns, and were successfully treated by a combination of veterinarian members of the beagle club and Dr. Ahalt at Jefferson Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Ahalt debrided the beagles, and provided laser treatment and we are pleased to say that all the surviving beagles from the fire were successfully treated and discharged from Jefferson Veterinary Hospital by veterinarian Dr. Ahalt after approximately 6 weeks of treatment.

We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community after the initial facebook post, and a selection of comments are below.

Thank you for telling this story because your husband is a hero, the best who doesn’t seek fame or praise. My sister and her husband were there helping and spoke of his selflessness and his continued commitment to the animals and pet owners he loves. The night sounded tragic and it is heart wrenching to here of the loss. But it is comforting to know vets like Dr. A are there to help in the most inopportune times. Thank you Brooks! And all who helped
— Tracey
I am not surprised one bit that Dr Ahalt never gave a second thought to going out last night and every other night he has left his home to comfort and care not only for our beloved pets but for us as well. He has held our old ones as they passed then held us as we grieved. He is doing what he loves and we love him for it. I can’t imagine letting anyone else take care of our precious Grissom. And Thank You, Mrs A for you patient and understanding, I’m sure it isn’t easy to watch him leave, but loving him, and the animals enough to be right there beside him on Christmas eve says so much as you as well.
— Terry
We 100 % agree. Thank you for posting this. People should know how compassionate Brooks is. When he came on board it was evident from the very first visit that we had another gem in our community. His dedication and tenderness with pets throughout the community is note worthy. Thank you Brooks for being YOU. And thank you Ms. Ahalt for sharing. Brooks will get over it 😬
— Diana
Thank you for posting this! He indeed is the best Vet ever!!! He’s been caring for our dogs for 17 years as well as so many families. That act in of itself is applaud worthy but the act to describe is so above and beyond. He makes us all proud. Prayers to those dogs and that family.
— Amy
Thank you, Brooks, for all you do! When I heard Brooks had been there, I wasn’t surprised. He is an amazing, dedicated, caring vet and person. Jefferson Animal Hospital reflects this absolutely.
— Wendy
One of the most compassionate and caring vets. What he did to try and save those animals enforces my trust of him to continue to care for my fur baby. A great man!
— Gloria
Dr. Ahalt’s compassion does not surprise me in the least, he is by far the best Vet I have ever had.
— Linda
Hands down one of the kindest, most compassionate souls I know. I’m so very happy my pups found their way to him!
— Debbie
Thank you for sharing this, and thank you, Brooks, for all you do! When I heard Brooks had been there, I wasn’t surprised. He is an amazing, dedicated, caring vet and person. Jefferson Animal Hospital reflects this absolutely. Thank you, Mrs. Ahalt, for sharing your husband with all of us pet lovers. Happy Holidays!
— Wendy
This is why we go no place else! He truly cares about our pets and the families that love them!
— Sherri
That’s why we love Dr. A. Thank you all for your tireless work, love & caring in our community.
— Karen
We love his office, his staff and him for all the great care to our fur babies over the years. Doesn’t surprise me at all he did all that you wrote about.
— Janet
Dr. Alhalt has been our god-send for so many of our furr-babies. We are not surprised by his fast action, genuine caring, concern and care. Thank you for your passion and for your selfless devotion! Proud to call you our vet! Enjoy your well deserved nap and Christmas with your family!! (Clare, Thank you for posting/sharing! 💗 He’ll get over it! Lol)
— Ginger
Thank you for everything you do and did last night! God put a special person on earth to take care of are animals!! Merry Christmas! God Bless!
— Patrick
Thank you and All your Family for the dedication you show to the local community and Our animals. We are lucky to have such folk in our area
— Andy
So much more than a veterinarian! This is a man that truly loves the work he does! He is one of a kind!
— Kristy
He is truly the best!!! He has saved our little guy twice!!!
— Tracie
So sorry to hear that but I would think nothing different of him. He is the absolute best. ❤️
— Julie
This man has a heart of gold always out to help god bless this man ❤️ he’s a wonderful person inside and out merry Christmas
— Victoria
He is a truly a selfless and caring man. That’s why I bring my pets to him. God Bless him. Merry Christmas to your family.🎅🎄
— Janet
Dr. Ahalt is a phenomenal vet. Saved my dog’s life back in the day when I thought he was dying. I hope he had a wonderful Christmas.
— Mike
He is truly one of the best! I’ve been taking my pup to him for 16 1/2 years!!! So thankful he does what he does!
— Kristen
He is awesome and we love him for his dedication to our furry friends!!
— Theresa
We love you Dr Ahalt! Wouldn’t trust our pets in the care of anyone else. Merry Christmas!!!
— Katie
Thank you for posting this about Brooks. I’m not surprised, family loved having him as their veterinarian!
— Lisa
Thank you for sharing. I think Dr. Ahalt is the best and I trust him 100 percent with the care of my dogs. Merry Christmas and God bless. I pray for all the pups.
— Barbara
We spent yesterday morning at his office with our sick dog Howie. What a great staff he has!! Brooks is an amazing vet and a wonderful man we are blessed to know Merry Christmas Ahalt Family❤️🎄- thank you
— Julie
His passion for animals is beyond measure. We are so thankful for him! He is such an awesome man! Merry Christmas to your family!
— Jessie
Your heart for animals is one of the reasons I recommend you to everyone.
— Gretchen
And this is why we would not go to any other vet. Good work Dr Ahalt. Good work. ❤️
— Kelli
May God Bless Dr. Ahalt of Jefferson Veterinary Hospital for giving of his precious time during the middle of the night to help so many dogs involved in this horrific fire on Christmas Eve. Such a sad, but loving post by his wife shows the huge heart this family has in our community!! This my friends is what the holiday season is all about!!!
— Valerie
This is just one of the many reasons why Dr Ahalt is our vet! He is always thinking of others!! I hope Dr Ahalt was able to get some rest and that you all had a very Merry Christmas! 🎄
— Charlene
I think Dr. Ahalt is the best. He and his office are the only ones we trust with our pets. Get some well deserved rest and have a Merry Christmas 🎄
— Cheryl
Brooks is the man we choose to bring our most precious family members to. This is why. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas. ❤️
— Mary
Absolutely the best vet ever! Extremely grateful to him for saving one of our fur babies years ago. Truly impacted our family forever. Thank you for posting! Merry Christmas to your family.
— Michele
I just met you two last night and you both are frigging fabulous!! Happy Christmas and much rest and love to you and your family.
— Aurora
He is the BEST along with his staff!!!! Merry Christmas 🐕🎄🐶
— Tracy
We have always had the greatest memories of how Dr. Brooks Ahalt has helped us with our animals on the past. We think he is wonderful. Thank your husband for his service and his love for his job. Happy new year to your family
— Barbara
We all love him! Doesn’t surprise me at all!
— Laura
Dr. Ahalt is a true gentleman and his love and compassion for animals is always evident in everything he does. The world needs more people just like him. Prayers to the ones involved in the kennel fire. God bless Dr. Ahalt for helping!!
— Marsha
He’s been there for us with help and through sadness and also a wonderful beacon of calm and professionalism to my in-laws
— John
Bless your husbands heart!!!! He saved my kitties life when an emergency vet md said to euthanize him. Hes an amazing kind hearted person!!!!
— Sue
Merry Christmas to Dr. A and your family. We are all so blessed to have Dr. A in our lives and these precious hounds are as well. Thank you for being there in these animals time of need. These animals will never forget your kindness. My own little hound was in good hands when he crossed the rainbow bridge and we have never forgotten. Thank you for all that you do.
— Sarah
This is why I only trust my animals to the excellent care of Dr. Ahalt ❤️ Thank you for all you do everyday for our animals and our community... Merry Christmas 🎄🎁
— Colleen
Brooks is a wonderful person. I can’t say enough about him. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
— Karen
Dr Ahalt is the finest veterinarian I know. Dedicated to the animals he treats.
— Punk
And this is why we will never take our pets to anywhere but JVH. Good job Dr. Ahalt. Thank you very much for all you do!!
— Shaun
The spirit in the flesh of giving without asking for anything in return . ❤️❤️❤️❤️. Thank You ! 👏👏👏👏
— Carolan
We wouldn’t go anywhere else, truly compassionate
— Sherry
We are so thankful for Dr Ahalt and his love and care for animals!!! Thank you for what you do!
— Cassie
This is a true animal lover, an amazing person with unbelievable dedication to giving care to animals. He has my utmost respect. Thank you for all of you selfless work.
— Kristi
He is a blessed human being! And our world is so much better for his being in it! Thank you for sharing (even if he IS cross!). Happy New Year!!!!!
— Alisonn
His actions come as no surprise. Merry Christmas to you and thank you for touching so many lives. Not just the animals, but their humans as well.
— Kim
There is no one I trust more than Dr Ahalt with my precious babies (Tux & Lily). Very proud of my veterinarian.
— Jennifer
Not only an amazing baseball coach to my son but an amazing vet and community leader. Thank you Brooks for everything you do. Those dogs are lucky. Thank you both for everything you do.
— Amy
Thank you Dr. Ahalt!! Words cannot express how much I admire & appreciate all you do not only for me but for our world. Blessings and love to you and your family at this time of giving.
— Dana
Great man, great community. Awesome to have a dedicated and understanding practice right around the corner. Merry Christmas Ahalt family and everyone.
— Michael
We love Dr Ahalt! Customers for nearly as long as he has been in Jefferson through ten pets and lots of love and tears. God bless you and your family
— Maryanne
Thanks doc for all you do. Some folks are in fields they shouldn’t be in. Not true here. You, doc, are doing exactly what you should be doing. Nobody does their job with such compassion unless it’s where they belong. Thanks for all you do!
— Christine
He is an amazing man. The care he shows the animals he treats and those who love them is beyond that of a vet. I am so sorry for the dogs, kennel and owners, but the is no doubt he (and you) did everything possible to save and comfort all those he could.
— Kimberly
This actually brought tears to my eyes. Wow, just WOW! Your a hero Dr. Ahalt!
— Stehpen
We are all so blessed to have Dr A and his wonder staff. He helped me recently with a tough time so no surprise he jumped to help others. He is a Christmas miracle. Penny bear thanks you too.
— Ellen
Willow & Harper LOVE Dr. A, as do I! He is one of the best, so kind and compassionate. He always takes his time with us and that means the world to us, he never hurry’s in and out...such an awesome one!!! Merry Christmas and we hope u get some rest.
— Jenny
This is amazing! Thank you for sharing this story and reminding us how lucky and blessed we are to have Dr. A in our community! He is the best there is and I am grateful for him and all of his staff! ❤️
— Debbie
Dr. Ahalt is amazing vet and is truly caring and compassionate!
— Lorrie
Such a wonderful and compassionate person. Best vet ever. Merry Christmas Dr. Ahalt from Tucker
— Marti
Thank you for sharing, Mrs. Ahalt. That is why I trust my pets to him - his compassion, humanity and kindness. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday!
— Linda
This is exactly why we trust our fur-babies with Dr. Ahalt. What a wonderful and caring person. Thank you for sharing this story and Merry Christmas.
— Dana
Dr. Ahalt and his staff are definitely the most caring people I know. So blessed to have such wonderful people taking care of our pets♥️ Thanks for all you do. Merry Christmas 🎄🎁
— Amy
We love you Brooks Ahalt and God bless you for your care and dedication! Merry Christmas to you and your family! 💗🎄
— Angela
He was always there when my dog needed him. He is truly an amazing vet.
— Brenda
He is the BEST vet!! Merry Christmas Ahalt’s!
— Beth
That’s why we love him . Thanks for all you do
— Mike
We had the great fortune to suddenly fall into Dr. Ahalt’s care last week for Hailey’s ongoing Mast Cell Tumor treatment. He was confident and knowledgeable about her condition, as well as very compassionate (because it’s still kinda scary). In the little bit we’ve seen him, it’s easy to believe he would give himself so selflessly to help injured and traumatized pups. Wishing him, his family, and his super sweet vet techs, assistants, and staff a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
— Nikki
I never ever say this but God bless you. Such a wonderful heart such a great spirit in this sometimes very cold world. I wish you and your family the very best in 2019
— Starlett
Thanks for your devotion and dedication ... Petey says Merry Christmas!
— Cindy
We are so Thankful for Dr Ahalt. Thank you for all your care for all our animals. Merry Christmas 🎄
— Evelyn
We send our thoughts out to everyone in this tragic event. Dr. A you are the best. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas. This picture only shows how big your heart is as you worked through the wee early hours.
— Holley
This is a fantastic story! Thank you for sharing your husband’s wonderful, unsung work. It appears his passion for his work is shown through deeds not words. Merry Christmas.
— Mathew
Beautifully said. No doubt he would do what he and you did thru the night. God Bless you both. We always appreciate Brooks. In times of sadness as well as keeping our fur-babies happy and healthy. Lots of love to you, Brooks and family.
— Kent
Brooks is a wonderful doctor and a such a caring man.
— Jenifer
God bless! And merry Christmas to your family! True dedication and this is why Dr A is the best veterinarian around...hands down! 💕
— Jesse
I have no words good enough for this man...
— Lelia
You have always been the best to our dogs, and we so appreciate. God bless you all.
— Kathy
Dr Ahalt is a wonderful man and an even better vet. We are blessed to have him in our lives. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for your kind heart
— Susan
You are amazing Brooks so glad you were around to help them. REST up and enjoy your beautiful family. Merry Christmas and thanks Claire for posting this.
— Nena
How very blessed we are to have Brooks Ahalt and his family who graciously shareshim with all of us pet owners. He is an example to follow and to mirror his life ❤️ love and compassion!!! Thank you and God Bless!!
— Pop pop
Brooks is an awesome vet. So caring, glad he was the vet to help
— Susan
It was a sad Christmas morning, but I will say this is a great practice and a dedicated Dr. Our hearts go out to the pups and all involved. Love your pups and be thankful for every moment shared.
— GSD Domicile
Such a tragic event and so blessed there are wonderful people like Dr. A that step up. Even when exhausted on a holiday night and give of themselves so selflessly for the animals and the community. Such a class act. Such a good and kind man.💕
— Mary
God bless you, Dr Ahalt. There ARE angels among us! My thoughts and prayers go out to you and the puppies.
— Judi
This right here. One of the many reasons we trust Jefferson Veterinary Hospital with our family member. 🐶
— Frederick Macaroni Kids
Thanks Brooks! We are so happy to be clients of your practice and fellow Ruritans!
— Sue
I just got done reading this to my parents. We are so thankful for all of our animals over the years that Jefferson Veterinary Hospital has cared for and were so thankful when Brooks took over the practice. What a blessing Dr. Ahalt has been to our family and the community. Merry Christmas!
— Veronica
Brooks and Clare, you are both awesome, wonderful community-minded people who give your all to those in need. Thank you for all you do.
— Inga
I’ve said before how much I love my vet. Just an FYI, This is why we love him
— Tracey
God Bless and we in Frederick County should be thankful we have people like him in our community. This is what makes Frederick a great place to live.
— Alyce