KENANSVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Several animals are now in the hands of Duplin County Animals Services, after a deadly gas explosion last week.
The owner, Lon Record, of a mobile home near Beulaville died from injuries, so did one of his pets.
He owned 17 animals, which was no surprise to the county’s animal services director, Joe Newburn.
“If he seen a stray animal he would get him help and pick them up and bring them home and he’d care for them and he’d adopt them out through his home,” said Newburn.
13 animals are being cared for by Newburn’s team. One died from her injuries. The rest are still on the loose.
The dogs and cats at the shelter have injuries like burns and scars, but they are said to be doing fine. Workers expect a full recovery in about a month.
One of Record’s dogs, named Big Boy, is being called a Hero.
On the day of the explosion, shelter workers began looking to save Record’s pets. They found Big Boy, whining and barking, in the woods, working to help another dog up off the ground with his nose and paws.
Employees say if it wasn’t for Big Boy, they wouldn’t have found the injured animal that later died from her injuries. The dog that died will be laid to rest next to Record.
A local teen is raising money to help cover the pets’ medical costs.
“They’re in extensive care so I decided I needed to help them,” said Kaden Simpson.
It’s not the first time Kaden has come to the rescue. He donates his birthday money to the shelter every year.
Kaden’s mother, Jessica Simpson said, “He cares about other people, he’s going to change the world.”
It’s the change dogs like Grace and Lady need to full recover.
“The donations that have come in, it’s helped us a bunch, especially Kaden, I can’t say enough of how much he’s helped us,” said Newburn.
Newburn knows his department and the community’s support for these animals are what the owner would’ve wanted.
“He would only want them to go where they were best taken care of and that’s what I’m hear to do to make sure that they get the best home they can get through him to what he would acceptable to,” said Newburn.
Kaden is looking to raise $8,000 to cover medical care. You can click here to donate.