'A lot of tears': Fire at Quebec SPCA leaves Iqaluit shelter in dire need

The Iqaluit Humane Society sent hundreds of animals a year to the Gatineau SPCA, which was destroyed by a fire earlier this week.

Iqaluit Humane Society sent hundreds of animals a year to Gatineau SPCA, which was destroyed by fire

The remains of the Gatineau SPCA. The Iqaluit Humane Society depended on the Quebec shelter, sending hundreds of animals there every year. (Sandra Abma/CBC)

A fire that killed more than 70 animals at a Quebec animal shelter is having an impact on the Iqaluit Humane Society.

The fire happened Monday in Gatineau, destroying the shelter. According to the SPCA of Western Quebec, only six dogs survived.

The Iqaluit Humane Society takes in animals from all over the territory, and operates out of a small space. The space is often overcrowded, so the humane society would send animals to the Gatineau SPCA once a week.

Janelle Kennedy, president of the humane society, said the group had developed a close relationship with the SPCA in Western Quebec, sending hundreds of animals every year to the Gatineau shelter.

"They have been absolutely key. If we didn't have them — and now we don't — we would have no where to send our animals," said Kennedy.

'If we didn’t have them — and now we don’t — we would have no where to send our animals,' Janelle Kennedy, president of the Iqaluit Humane Society, said of the Quebec shelter. (Travis Burke/CBC)

She said the Iqaluit shelter had just sent dogs to the Gatineau SPCA a few days before the fire.

"They all perished in the fire. So the feelings are very raw about that," said Kennedy. "It left us all in a lot of tears."

Now Kennedy says the humane society is focusing on where to send its animals next. She said the SPCAs in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Ottawa have all offered to take in animals from Iqaluit.

Kennedy is hoping First Air will continue to help them send the humane society's animals to the shelters.

The Gatineau SPCA is eyeing to rebuild.

"Right now, they need cash donations to help rebuild the shelter as quickly as possible," Kennedy said.

She said Iqaluit is also looking for foster homes and donations to help pay for the cargo to send its animals.

Investigators in Quebec are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.

With files from Qavavao Peter