Dog Saves Rescuer from Fire: 200 Animals Displaced

A Florida woman dedicated to saving animals has been rescued from a house fire by one of her dogs. Pasco County Fire & EMS officials say the home is a loss, and now 200 animals are homeless in the wake of the blaze.

The fire started around 4 am Saturday and spread quickly. “The flames were shooting from the roof,” neighbor Marcia Gilbert said.

Tammy Kemp was sound asleep when the fire broke out, and she was saved by a persistent dog who alerted her to the spreading flames. She and the 200 animals she cares for were able to escape unharmed. Local rescues are scrambling to find homes for them.

“We got out here and tried to get it organized to get as many animals to safety to be cared for,” Lynda Barhorst, of Sky Harbor, said, “while she’s going through what she’s going through.”

Barhorst said Kemp is in total shock.

“She’s very distraught. She’s going to need a lot of help in the coming days. If somebody can come out here and help her with the animals that would be great,” Barhorst said. “She’s lost everything. She doesn’t even have her clothing.

“We will take care of the animals as long as she needs them,” Barhorst said.


  1. Renee says on  07/22/2012 at 12:04 pm

    Poor woman. But the “fire” sounds suspicious to me.

    • Monica says on  07/23/2012 at 2:09 pm

      Yea, I’m sure. Woman with no insurance, 200 animals and it sounds suspicious to you. I hope you aren’t insinuating she did this because if you are, you are sick.

  2. Marie says on  07/22/2012 at 12:04 pm

    Prayers to this amazing woman and the special animals she cares for.

  3. Maeve says on  07/22/2012 at 12:06 pm

    A true hero dog. Hopefully they all will find new accommodation until back home! Shared Thanks :)

  4. She’s an animal rescuer, hence the number of dogs. Not insanity.

  5. Sometimes the unexplainable things happen, I’m just glad the lady and her animals still have their lives, good thoughts and prayers sent their way…

  6. Rauline says on  07/22/2012 at 12:08 pm

    Oh my …..God Bless Her and her animals…as she truly must be a wonderful person.

  7. Joy says on  07/22/2012 at 12:11 pm

    From what I understand, there were all kinds of rescued animals–barnyard and domestic. I hope this well-deserving woman gets all the help she needs.

  8. Rescuer, great but still 200 ???

  9. no kill shelters get large fast…she has kept alive 200 creatures that would of been destroyed. How can one judge harshly a person with selfless love for the needy. Life is sacred, even a dogs!

  10. Paula says on  07/22/2012 at 12:15 pm

    200 isn’t unreasonable when you are rescuing animals – it was either her or death – I’m glad they had her!!! Guess some people would have limited their love and concern for animals – she didn’t let the numbers get in the way of her devotion.

  11. Anonymous says on  07/22/2012 at 12:25 pm

    200 dogs??? Did she have Large live in staff. Acres and acres of property? Without the sainted label of rescue attaches to this women’s name she would be labeled a puppy mill or hoarder. How could anyone give proper care to 200 dogs?

  12. Michelle says on  07/22/2012 at 12:25 pm

    as long as she kept them in good condition with proper housing and care then she should be commended for saving the lives. i do wonder though if she might be a hoarder saying she is a rescuer. but, despite that. she and her animals need help. i just pray that they will ALL be all right and taken care of.

  13. Is there a chip in? I’d like to help if possible. Can’t afford much much anything helps doesn’t it? Xx

  14. Joy says on  07/22/2012 at 12:27 pm

    She had a lot of birds, ducks, geese, quail, rabbits, etc. Those add up easily. At another website pictures of the animals show them to be well fed and cared for, and they weren’t all in her house, of course!! She managed to get them all freed and safe. The fire is believed to be electrical in nature.

  15. The number does not matter, what matters is that she was a saint for caring for 200 animals no one wanted, that she saved all 200 of them, and now she needs help, Please post an address to start fund raisers for her, I am in

  16. I would love to start fund raisers here as quickly as possible to assist with the feeding and caring of the animals and hopefully find some place for her and the animals to go. I would hate to see them survive this and have to be put down.

  17. Joy says on  07/22/2012 at 12:36 pm

    Michelle, she is a recognized rescuer. Ann, there is a number for the Red Cross in the article.

  18. Yes, lets support this amazing lady! Money or by adopting some of these animals. Lets give!

  19. Alexandra says on  07/22/2012 at 12:53 pm

    …200 animals?!

  20. It’s really creepy how karma works sometimes, but we all see what good karma has done for her. The dog she rescued, rescued her in return. Who knew? My God.

  21. Suzan says on  07/22/2012 at 1:03 pm

    I’ll donate!

  22. It is truly sad that when we hear about something like this, we humans can’t seem to take the details at face value. I understand that there are tons of “phoney” stories out there but there are also the very real ones who deserve any type of support we can provide, be it monetary or emotional. Bless her for her good deeds and may they come back to her threefold.

  23. Eva says on  07/22/2012 at 2:53 pm

    it’s a tragedy!!! thank God they are all safe!!! hopes for the best about all these animals!!!

  24. Huge tragedy. Please get home insurance everyone…

  25. Please keep us all posted..we want to help!

  26. why does she have 200 animals, seems a little out of control

  27. Michelle, if you would read the story/comments above it would give you the answer to your question.

  28. God bless her.

  29. Britta says on  07/22/2012 at 8:11 pm

    Hope people in the area will step up to the plate, and help her…..with whatever us needed! God bless her soul …..doing the great things she is doing and wants to do! Xoxo

  30. Anonymous says on  07/27/2012 at 3:39 am

    No, its not “sick” to think it was suspicious. She is not even the homeowner as she claimed to be. Her boyfriend was and has been out of town for the past month. She has set up donations only going to her, not the actual homeowner. This is her 3RD house fire.

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