Seven dogs were burned alive in a sick arson attack on a family’s kennels with the poor pooeches being doused in petrol and set alight.
Emma Frowen, 42, described the horror of discovering the dogs “screaming” in agony and said she and her family “don’t feel safe” following the attack on the dogs, which were kept in the family’s kennels in allotments.
The mum, whose house is about a minute’s drive from the kennels, told how two French bulldogs named Gucci and Chanel – which they were minding for friends – a pregnant cocker spaniel called Poppy which was due to give birth in three weeks, a bull cross called Yogi and three bull greyhounds called Ice, Narla, and Ferne ,were set alight at around 1.30am on Sunday.
Speaking to Wales Online, she said her two heartbroken sons and their girlfriends mainly looked after the dogs – which they had for two years.
She recalled waking up in the middle of the night by her daughter-in-law who could hear the dogs barking and saw the flames.
They went to the landing window and saw the fire – assuming at first that someone set some rubbish alight.
But to their horror, as they went to investigate, they were confronted with a devastating scene at the family’s kennels in the allotments in Garden City in Rhymney, South Wales..
“We could see all the sheds where all the dogs were, flames as high as the house – and everything up in flames,” said the mum-of-three.
Two neighbours were already at the kennels and had called the fire brigade.
At this point the dogs were on fire but still alive and Emma’s son attempted to save them.
She added: “My son tried kicking [the kennel doors] open, trying to rip them open, but he was burning his hands.”
Emma’s other son also attempted to run in and help his brother but also burned his hands.
She said: “The fire brigade came and you could still hear the dogs screaming and yapping and then all of a sudden you couldn’t hear anything. They were all dead.”
The fire brigade confirmed to Emma and her family that it was an arson attack.
Meanwhile the allotments – where other people keep their animals too – were guarded until Sunday afternoon as the police and fire service continued to put out the smouldering fire and investigate the incident.
“We weren’t allowed in there because the roof had collapsed. We weren’t allowed to touch the dogs until forensics came,” said Emma.
With the help of the fire brigade she and her family used sheets and blankets, provided by neighbours, to wrap up the dog’s burnt bodies and carry them out of the destroyed kennels.
“One of the dogs, Ice, was missing but was found in a neighbouring field having escaped the inferno. They took Ice to the vets but he had 80% burns over his body that were so severe he had to be put to sleep.
“We brought him back home and we buried him with the rest of them,” said Emma.
Emma said she couldn’t understand why anyone would carry out such a “sick, vile attack”.
She added: “It was horrendous, absolutely horrendous. [My children] are all heartbroken. We just haven’t got any words.
“The police were crying as well – the lady sergeant. Everyone was just sobbing down there because they had never seen anything like it. For someone to come and do that they need locking up because they are absolutely twisted and sick in the head. There is something seriously wrong with people like that.”
Emma said they have had “amazing” support from local people and people further afield. “People have offered to come and help rebuild [the kennels].”
She added: “We just want them caught and put in prison and punished for what they’ve done. Until they are locked up and behind bars we don’t feel safe. To be honest I don’t feel safe in my own house at the moment. Could they come and do it here? They’re just animals – absolute animals, those people.”
A spokesperson for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: ” At approximately 2.06am on Sunday, July 17, we received reports of a fire in Rhymney. Crews from Tredegar and Rhymney station attended the scene and extinguished the fire using specialist equipment.
“The incident concluded at approximately 4.44am. Following a joint fire investigation at the incident with Gwent Police the cause of the fire has been concluded as deliberate.”
A Gwent Police spokesman said: “We received a report of a fire in Brynhyfryd, Rhymney, at around 2.10am on Sunday, July 17. A section of land, including outbuildings, was set alight and officers from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed that the fire was deliberately started.”
The spokesman added that a number of kennels were affected by the fire resulting in the death of the dogs.
They said: “Inquiries are ongoing and anyone with information should call 101 or send us a direct message on social media quoting log reference 2200238648. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
A spokesman for RSPCA Cymru added: “We are very sad to hear about this upsetting incident and would urge anyone with information to contact Gwent Police. Our thoughts are with the owners of these poor dogs during this distressing time.”