Two cats perish in fire that destroyed Georgia animal shelter Wednesday evening

Two cats perished in a fire that destroyed a Georgia (USA) animal shelter Wednesday evening. Thursday afternoon, Glenn Allen, Georgia’s Communications Director at the Office of Commissioner of Insurance reported the fire that destroyed Gordon County Animal Shelter was caused by an electrical malfunction.

(Gordon County Fire & Rescue)

Located in Calhoun, Georgia, the fire resulted in a total structure loss Wednesday night. According to the Gordon County Fire & Rescue Chief Doug Ralston, the fire appears to have started in the attic.

The front side of the structure was fully engulfed upon arrival. A total of 23 dogs were saved, with two or three running off (depending on which report you go by). Two cats, Daffodil and Tulip, who were housed in an area firefighters couldn’t reach in time, perished. They were scheduled for rescue on Thursday morning. Thanks to the efforts made by cat advocates, all other cats had already been rescued, including a pregnant feline named Aimee. She was saved just hours before the fire broke out.

The only 2 cats at the shelter perished in the fire (Betty Martindale Parker)

A total of five fire engines, two tankers, and 21 fire personnel responded to the blaze, as well as Gordon County EMS. According to the fire report, the front side of the structure was fully engulfed in flames and the roof over the kennel area in the back of the building had heavy black smoke pouring out of it when Engine 1 arrived around 8:00 p.m.

Facebook: Volunteers for Gordon County Shelter Animals reported

“The Gordon Shelter has burned tonight. It’s a total loss. It’s the worst nightmare for any shelter. We have all dogs out. 2 are missing. Unfortunately we lost 2 cats to the fire. There are several with burns and minor injuries getting treatment at our local vet clinics. We need rescues to help take the ones we have displaced as well as upcoming intake. Please share and network. Sue appreciates all the help and concern. Sue did an amazing job saving these lives. Please give us a few days to work out logistics.”

Aimee was rescued earlier Wednesday (Betty Martindale Parker)

Gordon County Fire & Rescue posted an update Wednesday night on their Facebook page

“UPDATE 9:23 pm: According to the director of the shelter, all dogs are accounted for and the Calhoun Shelter has graciously taken those animals, as well as some shelter volunteers for the evening. All offers from the public are appreciated, however the assistance is not needed tonight. Additional information will be made available at a later date concerning assistance from all you who have offered to help.”

Aimee, as well as other cats rescued prior to the fire, can use donations toward their care. Aimee’s thread is here. Thanks to better animal advocacy, the kill rate of 75-100 cats/kittens per week has dropped significantly at Gordon County Animal Shelter. If not for the never ending crossposting by advocates and rescues, more lives would have been lost in Wednesday night’s fire.

Gordon County Animal Control is gladly accepting donations after the loss of the facility due to fire. If you would like to make a donation to help, please follow these instructions:

MAIL CHECKS TO:

Gordon County Finance Department
P.O. Box 580
200 South Wall Street
Calhoun, GA 30703-0580
Attention: Al Leonard, Finance Director

Checks should be made out to the Gordon County Board of Commissioners. Please indicate on the check that you would like the funds to benefit the Gordon County Animal Control Facility.

Updates will be posted on the Facebook volunteers page for the shelter as they become available.

Rest in peace, Daffodil and Tulip.

Elisa

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