February 18th was one of the worst days of Janet Richardson's life. "Meatball was barking and he never barks, so we looked outside and saw the flames," Richardson said.
The fire was already too intense to put out. The flames destroyed everything she'd worked 15 years to build, including 16 dogs.
"I haven't been out in this area, I don't really like to come out to where it happened," Richardson said Friday afternoon. She was standing near what was the burned down rubble of the rescue. It's mostly cleaned up now, with new temporary shelters in place to house the remaining dogs.
The support from the community started pouring in before the flames were even out.
"It's so many little things, it's the hugs, it's the people who brought dinner," she said. The outpouring has almost been overwhelming. People have written checks for $1,000, one group wrote a check for $5,000. Children have emptied their piggy banks bringing in donations as small as $6.18. Every little bit of support including donated supplies and labor totals almost $100,000.
That amount brings a smile to Richardson's face, but not because of the sum. It's the idea that good still exists in the world and people have bent over backwards to help her rebuild her dream of helping homeless animals.