About 100 dogs got trapped as a fire tore through a farm in Siberia and were burned alive, animal rights activists said Monday.
The blaze started Sunday evening at a farm between the villages of Shiryayevо and Tikhonovа Pad in the Irkutsk region, according to a post on the VKontakte page of the Zemlyanye (Earthlings) animal rights group.
The group said in a statement that about 100 dogs and puppies died in the fire, adding that it believed it was started in a hay loft by arsonists.
No people died in the incident, an Interfax report said Monday.
The animals were being housed at the 180 square-kilometer farm after being taken there by volunteers from the nearby Stalker-Moskovshchinа shelter, according to the group. Earlier this year, the shelter was subject to checks by municipal authorities for allegedly poor conditions at the home.
The regional Emergency Situations Ministry said Monday in a statement that it was looking into the causes of the blaze and that more would be known next week.
"The ownership and the number of the dead animals is now being established. Experts at the Emergency Situations Ministry should be able to reveal the cause of the fire after 10 days," a press spokesman was cited as saying by the Interfax news agency.