New bill aims to strengthen fire protection at kennels after deadly Georgetown pet resort fire

Texas Politics

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — A Texas lawmaker has filed a bill that would require kennel operators to install fire protection measures if they don’t have a staffer on site 24/7.

State Rep. James Talarico, D-Round Rock, created House Bill 147 in response to the Ponderosa Pet Resort fire in Georgetown that killed 75 pets due to smoke inhalation last month. There was no staff at the pet boarding facility when the fire broke out the night of Sept. 18, and there was also no fire suppression system, according to the Georgetown fire chief

The bill would require all Texas dog kennel operators to install fire alarms and sprinkler systems, if there is not a staff member on site 24/7.

After the Ponderosa fire, a petition with more than 17,000 signatures called for more fire safety measures to be mandated and enforced in pet boarding facilities.

“The fire in Georgetown was absolutely gut-wrenching. My heart goes out to the families that lost their loving companions,” Talarico said in a statement. “After the fire, our community rallied together and called for action. Our legislation will ensure accidents like this never happen again in Texas.”

KXAN reached out to Talarico’s office to learn if the bill will be able to move forward this special session. They said they are waiting to see if the governor will add it as an emergency item to this session or the next one.

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