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25 animals dead in Morrell Park house fire

Twenty-five animals were killed in a house fire Tuesday night, according to the Baltimore City Health Department.

The city's Office of Animal Control found 12 adult Himalayan cats, 11 kittens and two dogs that were confirmed dead on the scene at a home in Morrell Park.

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In a statement, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen said the health department is investigating why so many animals were present and advised the public to be stewards of animal welfare.

"Animals rely on the community to help protect them," she said. "Please report animal abuse by calling 911 for an incident in progress or 311 if you suspect someone is neglecting or abusing an animal, or if you suspect an illegal breeding operation."

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Wen said that Baltimore, like other major cities, is "overwhelmed with the overpopulation of animals," and encouraged the adoption and responsible care of pets.

"With the news of this heartbreaking fire, we encourage all pet owners to make sure you have an escape plan for your pet in case of an emergency," she said. "Local pet stores have stickers and signs you can put on your residence to notify the fire department of the presence of animals.''

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