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Officials: 18 pets rescued from Westbury fire in good condition

From left, Ebony, Jax, and Dakota, who were

From left, Ebony, Jax, and Dakota, who were rescued from a house fire on Madison Street in Westbury on Friday, are at the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter, in Port Washington on Feb. 15, 2014. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Four dogs and 14 cats rescued from a Friday night house fire in Westbury are in good condition, and so is the homeowner after being treated for smoke inhalation at a local hospital, officials said Saturday.

Three of the dogs, all older mixed breeds, are being temporarily boarded at the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter. The fourth, a beagle, is being cared for at an animal hospital because he has diabetes.

The cats were taken to Westbury Animal Hospital, said Susan Hassett, director of the North Hempstead shelter, because the shelter doesn't have facilities for cats.

The animals will be given back to the homeowner when she's able to return to the house, Hassett said.

"These animals were her family. They were all really well taken care of," she said.

Firefighters removed the pets after responding to a small fire that began in the kitchen. Further details were not available.

The homeowner, Diana Salvi, declined to comment. The windows of the Madison Street house were boarded up Saturday as she went in to retrieve some of her belongings.

Joseph Panzarella, co-founder of now-defunct Rescue Ink, an animal rescue organization that had a Long Beach shelter, was helping Salvi.

He said Salvi rescues and fosters animals in need.

"She's loving, caring; she takes care of a lot of unwanted animals," he said, adding that all her pets were spayed and neutered.

The Village of Westbury doesn't limit how many dogs and cats residents can have in their homes, and Hassett said the town doesn't set a limit either.

"We feel like it's not the amount, it's how you take care of them," she said.


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