Canine Club in Bridgeville looks to rebound following tragic flooding
Teresa Davis just got home from work the night of June 20 when she had to turn right back around. Her Baldwin Street business, like so many others, was taking on water. And fast.
“I'd never seen a flash flood,” she said. “Now I understand what a flash flood is.”
Her thoughts immediately went to saving the 15 dogs trapped inside her business The Canine Club, a doggy day care, boarding facility and groomer. Six of those dogs were her own.
Davis said that when she arrived with her husband and son, the floodwater was already 6 feet high. She thought all of the dogs were already gone as the business was silent inside. But as they began treading through the murky water to search the kennels, they started hearing barks and whimpers.
More than 8 feet of floodwater rapidly filled homes and businesses along Baldwin Street following heavy rain. The flooding claimed the life of an Upper St. Clair woman and forced many residents to be rescued by boat.
Some of the animals in the kennel were able to pull themselves onto overturned plastic crates floating in the water. One of the Davises' surviving dogs, Lincoln, was found floating on a couch cushion.
In total, they were able to rescue 10 of the dogs and bring them to safety on the second floor of the building. Five — three of their own and two pets of customers — didn't make it.
“They're devastated, of course,” Davis said of the customers whose pets had died, “but understanding of us and appreciative of what we've tried to do and that it was a freak natural disaster.”
The Canine Club currently is closed for business. The remaining dogs that had not yet been picked up by their owners were moved to The Canine Club's second location — Mutt Manor — in Findlay.
Inside The Canine Club, the walls have been cut open to expose and dry their interiors. Davis said the business opened only four years ago.
It will take time, but Davis said the location will open again for business.
“It was a nice facility,” she said. “We have the big suite rooms, the play yard, and it's very rough the state we are in right now. I'm just thankful we got as many dogs as we did. It could have been much worse.”
Matthew Guerry is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.