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In the wake of a deadly pet resort fire, one facility is expanding its safety protocols

A Crate Escape in Round Rock is a luxury pet resort for dogs and cats. Now, it's also staffed 24/7.

ROUND ROCK, Texas — Dr. Chelsea Pearce, DVM, opened A Crate Escape in Round Rock in 2017. The luxury pet resort houses both cats and dogs and Pearce specializes in kenneling pets with special needs.

“I have a place in my heart for those with medical needs that had a harder time finding a place,” Pearce said.

Pearce practices emergency vet care. She and two business partners will soon open their own emergency pet hospital.

“I always had this love for animals and I had this profound love for medicine,” Pearce said.

When Pearce founded A Crate Escape, she tried to think of every emergency and every solution. The interior walls form a shelter from severe storms. Security cameras monitor each room and the entire lot outside. Alarms are set to call emergency services automatically. She also installed three fire extinguishers throughout the building.

When she heard about a nearby pet resort fire, Pearce began reviewing every policy she had.

“First and foremost, I want to share my sincere condolences with the clientele, staff and members of the Ponderosa Pet Resort Family. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone during this difficult time,” Pearce said in an email to her customers.

Georgetown investigators have not released a cause for the fire at Ponderosa Pet Resort on Sept 18. Seventy-five dogs died in the fire.

“Individuals in this industry are in it for the love of the pet. It could happen to anyone,” Pearce said.

A Crate Escape already staffed crews 24 hours during the resort’s busiest days. Pearce expanded the 24-hour service to seven days a week.

“For the last couple of months, we have been operating with overnight care Thursday through Monday. In light of the recent events, it is now my top priority to provide 24-hour staffing, seven days a week,” Pearce’s customer email showed.

Pearce said a worker agreed to work the three extra overnight shifts. Pearce also changed owner intake forms to have more information readily available in the event of an emergency.

“Any type of disaster can happen at any time. It doesn't matter who we are,” Pearce said.

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