(Las Vegas, NV)-After more than one month with the Animal Foundation, the 27 puppies who were rescued from a pet store fire could soon be available for adoption.

The puppies were initially up for sale at the Prince and Princess Pet Boutique on South Rainbow.  According to arrest reports, owner Gloria Lee was seen on surveillance video opening the store’s back door for alleged accomplice Kirk Bills.  Video allegedly shows Bills spraying the contents from a gasoline can all over the store, including on the kennels that housed the puppies.  The store is then set on fire.  Thanks to a successful sprinkler system and firefighters, all 27 puppies inside the store survived.  They were immediately handed over to animal control where they have been under a legal hold.

However, on Thursday, the District Attorney Steve Wolfson officially gave notice to owner Gloria Lee that the legal hold on the puppies could be terminated, opening the doors for possible adoption.  The notice says the owners of the store have 72 hours to either surrender their rights to the animals or attempt to reclaim possession of them.  The letter addressed to Gloria Lee and managing member Donald Thompson.  Lee is currently detained at the Clark County Detention Center.  If Lee does not try to reclaim ownership, the dogs will be handed over the the Animal Foundation, which can then find new homes for the dogs.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at the Animal Foundation for the wonderful care they have provided these puppies during the past month –including giving every puppy the various vaccinations they need to stay healthy,” District Attorney Steve Wolfson said.  “While I know the puppies are safe and well-cared for at
the shelter, I think we can all agree that the shelter is not an ideal long-term home for them.”

So far, nobody has made an ownership claim for the animals.  KXNT has contacted Lee’s defense attorney for comment, but our message has not been returned.

The Animal Foundation says they will also not comment on the issue until the dogs are rightfully under their ownership.  However, a media spokesperson tells KXNT the public interest in these 27 animals is extremely high.

On Friday, alleged co-conspirator Kirk Bills was in court on this case.  He faces 31 counts including arson, conspiracy, burglary and multiple counts of attempted animal cruelty.  His bail has been set at $310,000.

Gloria Lee and Kirk Bills (photos: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

Gloria Lee and Kirk Bills (photos: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

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