Animal rescue shelter destroyed in fire, community bands together to help

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Pit Road K9 Rescue and Sanctuary co-founder Diane Crockett lost her home, personal dogs and rescues in a fire on April 20. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Kristy Spurgeon)

VIRGINIA PENINSULA — Businesses around the Peninsula are helping a Church View animal rescue/shelter that lost everything in a devastating fire.   

On Tuesday, April 20, a fire broke out in the home of Diane Crockett, co-founder and vice president of Pit Road K9 Rescue and Sanctuary.

Diane lost her home, her personal pets, as well as most of the Pit Road foster and sanctuary animals. 

Only three of the around fifteen dogs sheltered through Pit Road K9 Rescue and Sanctuary dogs survived, with two currently at the vet receiving treatment for smoke inhalation.

Founded in 2004, Pit Road K9 Rescue and Sanctuary is a no-kill non-profit animal shelter that mostly works with “bully breeds.”

Diane’s daughter, Carla, is president of Pit Road K9 Rescue and Sanctuary and also serves as a Poquoson police officer. 

Well known and beloved in the local animal rescue community, Diane and Carla have received the support of many businesses that are helping to raise money. 

Animal Aid Society in Hampton started a fundraiser to help support their fellow rescue organization.

“When we heard the devastating news of the fire at Pit Road K9 Rescue & Sanctuary, and the tremendous loss that Diane has endured, we knew we had to step up and help,” Animal Aid Society Vice President and spokeswoman Kelly Loer said.

As Pit Road K9 Rescue and Sanctuary does not currently have a donations feature enabled on its Facebook page, so Animal Aid Society created a Facebook fundraiser, where 100 percent of the donations will go to Pit Road Rescue & Sanctuary. 

Loer said that Animal Aid Society has set a goal of $15,000, and so far has raised $6,005 of that goal. 

Animal Aid Society will also be making a donation to Pit Road K9 Rescue and Sanctuary to help cover the medical expenses of the two surviving dogs currently receiving treatment.

Meanwhile, Capstan Bar Brewing Company in Hampton is also raising money for Pit Road through a GoFundMe page. 

Gloucester landscaping company, Village Landscaper LLC, will donate a memorial garden for the facility to have as a private sanctuary on campus.

Green’s Container and Hauling Inc. of Yorktown also donated a dumpster to the facility for all of the debris from the fire. 

Kristy Spurgeon, a friend of Diane and Carla, said that she has taken in Callie the cat, one of the animals that survived the fire. 

Spurgeon said that she also took to the crematorium seven of the deceased dogs that were recovered. She said that there’s still around eight more to be recovered, and they are hoping to get as many out as safely as possible. 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

Those who are interested in donating to Pit Road K9 Rescue and Sanctuary can do so through their GoFundMe page or through Animal Aid Society’s Facebook fundraiser.

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