16 dogs housed in a 20-by-20-foot single-story shed died in an early morning fire today at an illegal breeding kennel in Westchester. The fire was reported at 6:51 a.m., and brought under control within minutes, but it was too late to save the animals trapped inside their cages. Local police in Greenburgh, NY tell LoHud.com that the dogs were a breed of Cane Corsos. Eight were puppies, and the others were 5 months to 7 years old.

Heat lamps and space heaters inside the shed may have caused the fire, which is still under investigation. But the property owner, Ross Taylor, was reported for illegal dog breeding in 2006. Police did not issue any summonses at the time because, according to Greenburgh police Lt. Brian Ryan, "He cleaned it up. Obviously, they came back." Now they're all dead.

Town Building Inspector John Lucido tells LoHud.com, "If it was found that they had all these dogs we would have given them violation notices to remove the dogs down to the number permitted, which is three. It was an illegal business where a person was breeding dogs in a residential neighborhood, which is not permitted. We will have an investigation. Whatever violations are found will have to be written up and they will be taken to court."