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.