GUELPH, ON (May 27, 2024) – A Chihuahua was found abandoned in the holding tank of public washroom at Guelph Lake Conservation Area at approximately 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 26th.  


An Animal Services Officer from the Guelph Humane Society (GHS) responded to a call from a conservation officer that found her.  

Tan and black chihuahua.
Cleo recovering at the Guelph Humane Society.

The dog is female and estimated to be approximately six years old. She was found inside the inground tank covered in human urine and feces and in a thin body condition, suggesting she had not eaten for several days. 

It is unknown how long the dog was in the tank. 

After rescuing her, GHS transferred her to a veterinary clinic for immediate veterinary care and assessment. 

“It is very disturbing that a dog could be abandoned in such alarming and dire circumstances,” says Lisa Veit, GHS’s Executive Director. “All of us here at GHS, and we expect the entire community, are extremely distressed as to what may have happened to her had she not been discovered and rescued.”   

Veit stresses that abandoning an animal should never happen.

“Unfortunately, pet abandonment is seen all too often,” Veit says.  “If you are unable to care for an animal, we ask that you please contact GHS to arrange a surrender or other assistance. GHS offers several programs to assist pet owners in distress. Leaving animals on their own without care is inhumane.” 

GHS encourages community members that may have information about this incident to report it to the Provincial Animal Welfare Service (PAWS) at 1-833-9-ANIMAL (1-833-926-4625).   

“It is important that any information on what may have happened is reported so that PAWS is able to investigate thoroughly,” Veit says. “Despite her ordeal, the dog, affectionately named ‘Cleo’ by our team, is now resting comfortably at GHS and getting the care she needs.” 

Donations to support GHS and assist with Cleo’s care can be made at

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 on social:  

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok: @guelphhumane 

Media Contact: 
Jane Dawkins 
Director Communications and Community Engagement 
Guelph Humane Society