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Ottawa Humane Society rescues 35 cats following fire at Cornwall animal shelter

OTTAWA, Ont. (18 July, 2007) — Agents from the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) have rescued 35 cats and five dogs from the Cornwall area after a fire damaged the local OSPCA facility on Sunday night.

According to local press reports, firefighters responded to a blaze on Boundary Road in Cornwall, about 6:45 p.m. Sunday. Fire crews and shelter staff successfully removed about 50 cats and a dozen dogs from the OSPCA shelter, most of whom were unharmed. The majority of the animals spent Sunday night in the shelter’s garage, and one dog and one cat were brought to a local vet clinic for overnight treatment. They were later released.

The Cornwall shelter sustained extensive smoke damage and the building’s ventilation system will have to be repaired and cleaned before the building is safe to house animals again.

OHS agents travelled to Cornwall on Monday, where they were joined by counterparts from Brockville and Napanee. The 35 cats and five dogs were loaded into OHS vehicles for the drive back to Ottawa, where they were met by shelter staff who were eager to help create space for the new arrivals. Such a long journey can be stressful for animals, but so far, the cats and dogs seem to be handling the move well.

“It certainly takes some organization and patience to orchestrate such a large-scale road trip for these animals,” says Ottawa OSPCA Inspector, Tim Brown. “It was difficult, but we were happy to get these animals back to a safe place. They’ve been through a lot and the sooner we can get them stabilized, the better.”

The Cornwall animals will remain in Ottawa, where they will receive medical treatment and attention before being placed for adoption.

“Receiving such a large number of animals all at once certainly places a strain on us, especially as we are already bursting at the seams,” says OHS Executive Director, Bruce Roney. “But as a member of the OSPCA family, we are happy to lend a hand to a fellow shelter in need. The animals need us and we are doing everything we can to ensure they receive the care they deserve.”

Over the coming days, the Cornwall animals will become available for adoption at the Champagne Avenue location of the OHS. Animal profiles and descriptions will be offered on the OHS website at

For media enquiries, contact:

Tara Jackson, Communications Manager

(613) 725-3166 ext. 261

A word about the Ottawa Humane Society:
The Ottawa Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 1888. The Society works in and with the community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions, and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray, or homeless. Print this page