Fairfax County Fire Department officials said dozens of cats were killed Saturday afternoon in a fire at a home used to rescue animals.
Schmidt said a pet-sitter, who went to check in on the animals while the owners were away, found the house filled with smoke.
The fire was extinguished when firefighters arrived on the scene, but it was too late for several of the animals recuperating at the home.
Dozens of cats and caged bird died on the blaze. Animal Control officers were able to rescue eight cats.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.