Steam pipe explosion: AKC Canine Retreat offers free boarding to Flatiron dog owners

The American Kennel Club Canine Retreat is offering relief to the Flatiron District’s four-legged residents following the steam pipe explosion that displaced hundreds of people last week.

The AKC Canine Retreat, located at 145 W. 20th St. in Chelsea, has opened its doors to anyone who was evacuated from the neighborhood due to the risk of asbestos exposure and doesn’t have a place for their dog to stay.

“We understand the explosion was extremely unexpected and when you’re dealing with that kind of chaos . . . we wanted to ease the stress for these people,” Brandi Hunter, a spokeswoman for AKC Canine Retreat, said.

Not long after Thursday’s explosion, Hunter said the facility’s staff realized that while Flatiron dog owners may have somewhere to sleep, their beloved pets might not be able to stay in the same place due to an allergy, space constraints or other reasons.

“We wanted to give their dogs a safe place to stay,” Hunter added.

AKC Canine Retreat is offering five free days of boarding at its West 20th Street location, which is situated just blocks from the area affected by the pipe blast.

Pet owners can expect, “plenty of play time, professionals who deal with dogs of all kinds of temperaments, a good amount of quiet time for their dog, plenty of socialization and plenty of love,” Hunter said.

At least one displaced resident has taken AKC Canine Retreat up on its offer, according to Hunter, and the facility plans to keep the opportunity open until the city clears everyone to go home.

As of Sunday, at least nine of the 45 affected buildings have been cleared for residents to return, city officials said. But there is no timeline for when all of the buildings could be reopened.