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SUPERIOR, Colo. (KDVR) — More than a month after the Marshall Fire, remarkable stories of the survival of both humans and pets continue to emerge.

One such story involves a popular doggy daycare off Marshall Road called Dog Tag, where owner Donelle Slater suddenly found herself with just minutes to get 41 pets to safety as flames closed in. 

“We’ve always had evacuation plans for animals, whether it’s a hurricane, a fire, or whatever,” Slater said. “So my husband and I tried to evacuate the dogs using a horse trailer that we have set up next door.”

But by the time they got the trailer hooked up to the truck, Slater said a wall of fire was blocking them, forcing them to ditch that plan.

“Plan A is always the best scenario, where everyone gets put exactly where you want them to be,” she said. “Plan Z is always just open the gates and let them go, because animals are pretty instinctual and will figure it out.” The family was able to stuff 30 dogs into three separate cars but had no where to put the remaining 11 dogs. 

“I couldn’t leave the rest of those dogs in the kennels,” she said. “So I literally went back in and went to each kennel. I let every dog out.”

Slater said she found deputies down Marshall Road and told them about the dogs that were left behind. By now, you may have seen body camera video of Boulder County Sheriff Deputies rescuing two dogs.

Slater said those dogs, Elsa and Gary, were two of the 11 she initially had to leave behind. Within hours, all of them had been rescued and reunited with their families. 

“We got really, really fortunate,” she said. “We’re so fortunate that all 41 dogs made it out alive.”

Slater said her barn, an indoor play area and multiple outdoor pens were destroyed by the fire. A fundraiser to help them rebuild has raised thousands of dollars, but Slater said they’re currently still waiting on insurance claims. 

“We’re just in limbo,” she said. “We’d love to be open, and back in business, but we’ve got a lot of things to repair, and we need to know that it’s going to be covered before we get started.”