GUELPH, ON (January 22, 2021) – The Guelph Humane Society (GHS) was called to an apartment fire early Saturday morning, to offer assistance to the pets of residents in the building.

“At approximately 1:30am I received a call directly from the Guelph Fire Department stating that a unit from an apartment building had caught on fire and they removed a cat that they believed was suffering from smoke inhalation,” says Shannon Sauvé, an Animal Protection Officer with GHS.

Shannon, seen here with Froggy – a cat currently in the care of GHS

Sauvé says she arrived at the building on Woolwich Street at Eramosa Road, and quickly hopped out to see if she could locate the cat in immediate distress.

“I had approached a paramedic who was watching a dog while her owner was getting assessed by the paramedic team,” Sauvé says. “I checked to make sure that the pup was given the green light to be given back to her owners. The pup was not in direct contact with the smoke and exited the building safely. I had asked the paramedic the location of the cat that was in need of veterinary care and he pointed me in the direction of the Guelph City Transit buses that were temporarily housing building tenants.”

Smoke inhalation can have painful and serious consequences in cats, so it was important for the cat to receive urgent veterinary care. After speaking with its owner, Sauvé says she contacted a local clinic to tell them she was on her way with the cat.

The cat received oxygen at the clinic and was assessed by a veterinary team. The cat remained at the clinic, and was medically cleared on Sunday to be released back to its owner.

Sauvé says it was just the one cat that was located directly in the unit where the fire had started that needed immediate veterinarian care.

“There were many residents that were already dispersed in multiple safe areas, but Guelph Fire made sure to assess every person and animal coming out of the building to determine if the animal or owner needed to seek medical treatment,” Sauvé adds.

Thank you to all of the first responders and frontline workers who worked together to ensure the safety of the building residents as well as their pets.

The fire itself was deemed to be suspicious, and following an investigation, police arrested a 31-year-old Guelph man. He was been charged with arson and two counts of breach of probation.




About the Guelph Humane Society

The Guelph Humane Society advocates for all animals, and in particular those animals whose lives it can influence, through care, education, community support, protection, and leadership. Founded in 1893, the Guelph Humane Society provides care and shelter for approximately 3,000 homeless, stray, injured and abused animals each year in Guelph and Wellington County. GHS is a registered charitable, non-profit organization that does not receive government funding. Visit to discover more.


Follow GHS:

Facebook: @guelphhumanesociety

Twitter: @guelphhumane

Instagram: @the_ghs


Media Contact

Natalie Thomas

Manager, Marketing and Communications

Guelph Humane Society