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Nearly two dozen pets have been brought to the Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA shelter in San Mateo since the gas explosion and fire on Thursday, according to a release from the PHS/SPCA.

Many of the pets brought to the shelter have already been returned to owners who were able to secure pet-friendly housing, according to the release.

At about 6:15 p.m. Thursday, a 30-inch PG&E steel gas transmission pipeline ruptured near Skyline Boulevard and San Bruno Avenue, causing a massive explosion and fire that officially killed four people, hospitalized more than 50 others, and destroyed 37 homes.

Two dogs were found stray near the Crestmoor Canyon area and the owners of both pets have been contacted, according to the release.

The PHS/SPCA has received one report of a dead pet, which is a bird, and no reports of injured pets.

Officials have to respond to fewer than a dozen remaining reports for lost pets.

Most of the pets that are unaccounted for are outdoor cats that likely fled the area at the time of the explosion, according to the PHS/SPCA.

The number of missing pets could have been larger if not for the time of the explosion and owners’ emergency preparedness, PHS/SPCA spokesman
Scott Delucchi said.

“The timing had something to do with it. It wasn’t in the middle of the night,” Delucchi said.

Including pets in the disaster planning process is simple, Delucchi said. Owners should make sure their pets have identification and also have ready a way to transport the animal such as a leash or crate, and a pet-friendly place to stay.

“It looks like a lot of people already had that third piece in place,” Delucchi said.

With permission from homeowners, PHS/SPCA staff have been making daily visits to evacuated homes to make sure pets have food and water. There have been no reports of pets left behind or trapped in homes without food or water, according to the PHS/SPCA.

As many as seven PHS/SPCA officers at one time have been in the neighborhood searching for missing animals or checking on pets at their homes, Delucchi said.

“Everyone on our staff loves animals,” Delucchi said. “They’re going to play with them a little bit and scratch them behind the ears and give them some TLC as well.”

Free pet food, leashes and dog beds are available to San Bruno residents at the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center, located at 251 City Park Way in San Bruno City Park, and at PHS/SPCA headquarters at 12 Airport Blvd in San Mateo. The PHS/SPCA shelter remains ready to house animals if residents are unable to maintain pet-friendly accommodations, Delucchi said.

The nearest emergency veterinary clinic for pets requiring care is North Peninsula Veterinary, located at 227 Amphlett Blvd. in San Mateo.

People who’ve lost pets or found stray pets can visit the PHS/SPCA office in San Mateo between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. The shelter is collecting monetary donations.

Andy Hamilton, Bay City News

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