Dogs injured in Middletown kennel fire released after treatment

A beagle rescued from a Middletown fire receives hyperbaric oxygen treatment therapy at CARE Veterinary Clinic.

Five dogs that were rescued from a kennel fire in Middletown on Christmas Eve were released Tuesday after receiving specialized treatments to improve breathing.

The beagles are a part of the Middletown Valley Beagles — a private hunting pack — and are housed on a farm on Marker Road. The fire started in a detached building on the farm that killed 15 dogs and several other animals. Sixteen other dogs survived without serious injury.

The five injured hounds were treated at CARE Veterinary Center on West Patrick Street, where they received extensive care for burns and hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment from smoke inhalation.

The hyperbaric treatment is painless and non-invasive. It accelerates recovery while limiting the risk of infection by increasing air pressure three times higher than normal air pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic. This allows the lungs to gather more oxygen to fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances, which aids in healing.

The dogs had hyperbaric treatment last week, then went home for a few days and came back early this week for more treatment, according to CARE veterinarian Kelly Gellasch. Each treatment takes from 60 to 90 minutes. The dogs were also treated for burns, which Gellasch said ranged from mild to severe.

The dogs are being cared for in homes of members of the club, according to Amy Farber, a member of Middletown Valley Beagles. She added that the surviving beagles are still on the farm in kennels that were untouched by the fire.

“Everybody is so appreciative of the work that the vets have done,” she said. “They came by and visited the beagles and have been checking on them and helping us get them medicated.”

Gellasch said the dogs are in the middle of treatments, which includes more hyperbaric treatments and minor wound care for the next few weeks. Scar tissue can develop from the wounds, which can inhibit movement, and there may not be hair regrowth in the treated areas, but Gellasch is optimistic that the dogs will be fully functional after treatment.

“They seem to be recovered from any respiratory problems,” she said. “As far as long-term concerns from burns, it depends on how they heal. But they are doing pretty good. They are eating and seem to be pretty comfortable.”

Follow CJ Fairfield on Twitter: @FairfieldCj.

(4) comments


Glad to know CARE can do a good job and that these dogs are doing better; CARE failed me and my dog. They are supposed to be an after hours emergency facility. I brought my obviously sick and bloated dog in at 10 AM on a Sunday. They determined she was bleeding internally but I waited, without ANY treatment, while they tried to get X-rays read. Late in the day they finally got the reading but did not want to treat her until further imaging was done; they were not prepared to do it immediately. So I continued to sit in the waiting room with my very sick dog. By 6 PM they encouraged me to leave. If I left my dog there, she could be seen in the AM. If I took her home, I would have to make an imaging appointment, which would take at least 4 days. I left her there. I was called at 9:30 PM to be informed she had died, presumably due to the internal bleeding. The staff was very nice and they were very clear about the cost, having me sign multiple financial documents and multiple credit card charges. 11.5 hrs and over $2,000 later, without any observed treatment, I lost my dog. I would NEVER go back there and cannot recommend them to anyone.


So sorry for your loss.


Sorry for your loss, Lar.


Very sorry about your dog LAR.

Thank you for sharing your experience. To clarify, they took some x-rays and kept your dog under their care from 6 PM to 9:30 PM -- 3.5 hours -- and that was it? No other services performed? If so, $2,000 is outrageous -- as in, notify the attorney general's office; the BBB; all local dog clubs and kennels; and the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners:

Also, if it isn't too late, you can dispute the charges with your credit card company.

We've used Middletown Vet Clinic for over 30 years (during regular business hours), and recommend them highly . Of course, Middletown Vet would have been closed on a Sunday.

We've been to the CARE clinic at least twice when Middletown was closed. I thought their charges were high, but considering that they are (supposedly) a 24/7 emergency facility I did not complain.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, there's no place else to go during off-hours -- is there? There is a place in Hagerstown off I-81:

That's quite a bit further, even from Middletown/Myersville. I have no idea what their rep is.

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