Clayton County animal control officer rescues nine dogs in early morning forest fire

Although cats are said to have nine lives, an animal control officer in Clayton County saved the lives of nine dogs early Friday morning.

Clayton County Animal Control supervisor James Townsend said firefighters called them out to a small forest fire in the woods near a homeless encampment, off Highway 138 in the Stockbridge area just after 4 a.m.

"They were in a tent at or near a tent. The fire and come pretty close to it," Townsaid exclusively told FOX 5’s Rob DiRienzo.

Townsend said firefighters were quick to extinguish the flames, but no was in sight to claim the dogs.

"There was concern for reflash, the decision was made can’t leave them there," he said. "There was no way to post notices because it’s a homeless encampment."

The responding animal control officer brought in three adult dogs, one of whom was a mother to a litter of puppies that were just a few days old.

Caretakers at the facility did not want to overwhelm her and her babies with our big camera so they were kept away, but the other two adults were ready to play.

"These were in pretty good health so the two primary things were, are they going to be alone or is this fire going to start back up," Townsend said.

He said they’ll take care of them for at least the next few days.

"We will hold them for a certain amount of time to see if someone comes to reclaim them," Townsaid said. "Because they were in good condition, the person may decide if they’re able to to reclaim them."

Townsend said if no one comes to claim the dogs, animal control will either put them up for adoption or hand them over to a rescue.