Suspected arson at cat shelter in Tromsø

Cat shelterKitten. Photo: Norway Today Media

Suspected arson at cat shelter in Tromsø

13 cats have died after it began to burn in a cat shelter belonging to the Pet Rescue (Dyrebeskyttelsen) in Tromsø on Saturday morning. Police suspect arson and ask any potential witnesses to come forward.


According to Kaj Christiansen, Leader in Tromsø Fire and Rescue, 13 cats died in the fire. In the newspaper Nordlys, all the 13 cats are referred to by name by desolate volunteers in the Pet Rescue.

– People are shocked and very sad. That is our heart cause. People are very engaged. They use their spare time on this. It affects the volunteers deeply. We will meet later today to cry a little, says deputy chairwoman of the Pet Rescue in Tromsø, Hege Gausdal Foshaug.


The Troms police district reported the fire on Twitter just before 6.30 am on Saturday morning. At the same time, a carport just a little distance away was also ablaze. The police therefore suspect that it is a case of arson.

– We consider it as suspicious, says Operations Manager at Troms police district, Karl Erik Thomassen, to Nordlys.

During the day, crime technicians will work at the two sites.

– We have cordoned off both fire sites. We will conduct queries in the area and conduct tactical and technical investigations, says Thomassen.


The police also call for witnesses who have observed something that can shed light on the matter to contact them. Foshaug says that sick people must be responsible if the fire is deliberate.

– My first notion is that there are some very sick people who can do this to innocent animals. It appears that the fire has occurred on our staircase. That’s where it burned the most. – It’s the smoke that killed the animals. They look unharmed where they are laying in their places, she tells NRK.

Building new

According to Foshaug, the Pet Rescue signed an agreement with Tromsø municipality this summer and took the building over free of charge. The plan is to build a new pet rescue centre on the site.

– We have lost the only small gathering point we had. We have lost our rescue centre. We do not know how to move on. There are great values lost, in food, equipment and technology. We are completely despaired, she says.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today