13 dogs, including 12 Australian shepherd purebreds, perish in Minnesota house fire

13 dogs, including 12 Australian shepherd purebreds, perish in Minnesota house fire

A fire Thursday caused the deaths of 13 dogs, including Australian shepherd show dogs.

ST. FRANCIS, Minn. — Thirteen dogs, including 12 purebred Australian shepherds, died in a house fire north of Minneapolis, authorities said.

The animals were part of a kennel of award-winning show dogs that competed nationally, WCCO reported.

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The Isanti County Sheriff's Office said it received a call of a fire at 11:41 a.m. Thursday in an area just north of St. Francis, KSTP reported.

Members of the Isanti Fire District responded but the blaze destroyed the home and killed all of the dogs inside, homeowner Jodi Dovel told KMSP. Dovel said the dogs were part of Crystal Winds Australian Shepherds, a registered kennel run by Dovel, the television station reported.

Dovel's husband received a call about the fire while he was at work and immediately went to his home.

"I called (Jodi) and raced home but by the time I got there the house was engulfed in flames. There's nothing we could do," Phil Dovel told WCCO. "When you see everything you've worked for go up in flames, it grabs your heart."

“It’s not something you’d ever expect. It’s not something you’d wish on your worst enemy,” Jodi Dovel told the television station.

Twelve of the dogs belonged to the Dovels and ranged in age from 8 months to 11 years, KSTP reported. A friend's dog was also in the home, WCCO reported.

Two GoFundMe accounts have been started for the Dovels, one by a friend and another by a work colleague.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, officials said.