ABILENE, Texas — Twenty dogs had to be rescued from a house that caught fire in north Abilene.
About 8:55 p.m. Friday, the Abilene Fire Department was dispatched to a residential structure fire in the 740 block of Sandefer Street.
When fire crews arrived, they spotted smoke coming from the home.
While there were no people inside, firefighters found 20 dogs, including chihuahuas.
Firefighters were seen carrying the dogs out of the house. None of the animals were injured in the fire.
The Abilene Animal Shelter was called to the scene to care for the dogs.
The cause of the fire is an "improperly discarded cigarette," according to the fire department.
Damage was estimated at $2,500.
The people who live in the home are being assisted by American Red Cross.
16 dogs were taken to the Abilene Animal Shelter and the other four dogs are with the owner.
It's believed that one dog had two sets of litters in the last five months, the youngest being four weeks old.
"A lot of people wind up with more dogs than they can handle. You have a litter here and a litter there. Having a dog is great, but having 20 is a little more than you can take care of," said Paul Washburn with Rescue the Animals, SPCA.
Click here for a link to the Abilene Animal Shelter's spay/neuter program.