Services and Facilities

About the Central Animal Facility

The Central Animal Facility opened in 1973 to provide a centre for the maintenance, by skilled and experienced personnel, of quality animals in a controlled environment as a service to departments across the University.

The animal rooms in the CAF are multi-purpose in character. They are designed to accommodate standard cages for various species of animals.

A variety of services are provided to users of the CAF and other registered facilities at the University of Guelph.


Cost of Animal Accommodation

Accomodation and Technical Service Rates for University of Guelph Clients
Accomodation and Technical Service Rates for External Clients

Questions concerning Animal Accommodation Rates can be addressed to Rose MacQueen , ext. 54300.

The administrative costs for this facility and other animal care services are borne in large part by the University.

Of the direct costs for keeping animals (labour, bedding, housing, supplies, etc.) the University absorbs up to 50%. The remaining funds are recovered by charging users of the facility.

Per diem prices are for care provided by CAF staff, i.e., housing, cleaning, watering and feeding. Room rentals are available, in which the Investigator/Instructor is responsible for the daily, including weekend, care of the animals.

Additional services needed, i.e. custom cleaning, feeding, supplies, technical support, etc., can be arranged by calling the CAF Manager for details at ext. 54304 or email Mary Fowler.


Procedure Rooms

Arrangements can be made by calling the Technical Staff at ext. 54308, or email Michelle Pitre.

In addition to providing accommodation for animals, 6 rooms are available for use by investigators. They have been designated as procedure rooms, and are designed to provide a private area for investigators to carry out examinations, observations, manipulations, procedures or simple laboratory work involving animals housed in the CAF.

Cupboard or locker space is also available for investigators to keep equipment and material under lock and key.


Pre-Research Consultations

Pre-research consultations can be arranged by telephoning ext. 54304, or email Mary Fowler .

Information and advice can be provided regarding:

  • special caging requirements.

Such consultations are especially beneficial prior to the preparation of grant and contract applications, and Animal Utilization Protocols.


Veterinary Services

The Manager, (Mary Fowler) in consultation with the University Staff Veterinarian, (Dr. Marcus Litman) is responsible for the health and care of animals in the CAF, and is available for consultation and advice to all Investigators/Instructors using animals (ext. 54304), or email Mary Fowler.

Veterinary Technical Staff:
Contact: ext. 56962 or email Annette Morrison

By prior arrangement, Investigators/Instructors can obtain assistance from the CAF technicians to carry out:

  • minor manipulative or surgical procedures
  • mouse and rabbit antibody production
  • blood collection
  • administration of anaesthetics, analgesics, and drugs used for euthanasia
  • fecal flotation

Charges will be made for these services on the basis of time and materials. Some routine techniques, such as blood collection and injections, have a pre-determined charge.

Routine fecal examinations, vaccinations, and other health monitoring procedures are performed on all species in the CAF.  The Investigator/Instructor is billed for these services.

Laboratory services including necropsy examination, bacteriology, radiology and more extensive clinical pathology can be arranged through the CAF Technical Staff or directly with the particular department at the OVC.

Arrangements can be made for the use of an inhalant anaesthetic machine in the CAF. Technical assistance is also available and will be charged for on a time basis.


Dog Walking Services

Dogs housed in the CAF must be exercised outside for 20 minutes at least five times a week. To facilitate this, part time employees are hired by CAF to exercise the dogs and costs are passed on to Investigators/Instructors.

A volunteer dogwalking program is also managed by CAF to facilitate daily walking of the dogs. Both the paid and volunteer staff are trained and supervised by CAF. Special conditions regarding walking instructions can be relayed to the Technical staff, Michelle Pitre (ext. 54308) and the appropriate walker will be informed.


Animal Surveillance Technicians (AST)

Contact: ext. 54304 or Mary Fowler

After hours surveillance of animals (between 1100 hrs and 0530 hrs) is provided through CAF for all animal facilities except the OVC VTH, which is monitored after hours by OVC staff.

The AST service is deemed necessary to ensure that animals are not in distress or discomfort, that the mechanical operation of the animal facility is in good working order, and that the animal quarters are secure.

The AST's are capable of administering medications and assessing animal health through the night. A fee will be charged for these services.


Weekend Special Care

Arrangements should be discussed with the CAF Manager at ext. 54304 or email Mary Fowler

Investigators/Instructors frequently desire the CAF staff to carry out special services on weekends, such as medicating animals, since their own technical staff may not be available to do this. As the CAF operates with a reduced staff on weekends and holidays and such services involve extra time, a fee will be charged for these services. Animal care personnel are instructed not to perform such services unless they have been approved by the manager &/or Technical staff.


Cage and Bottle Washing Facilities

Arrangements should be made with the CAF Manager at ext. 54304 or email Mary Fowler

A large mechanical facility for cage and bottle washing and sanitizing, is located in the CAF. It will accommodate cages from the size in which mice are held to that which will accommodate a dog. All animal cages in the CAF are routinely cleaned in this manner. This custom cleaning service is also available to any department in the University at a nominal charge.


Acquisition and Purchase of Animals

Contact: ext. 54311, or email

If animals are to be purchased by CAF, a CAF Animal Request Form is completed and submitted to CAF. Forms are provided for the various department Administrative Assistants or Ordering Clerks.

Orders must be in by Tuesday at noon at least one week prior to the required delivery date. However, prompt delivery may be curtailed by the lack of availability of animals at the source.

Mouse Passport form (completed form to be submitted in advance of shipment)


Cost of Animals

Animals ordered through CAF are purchased at current market prices and charged directly to the Investigator's/Instructor's grant or department funds specified on the order. These prices can be obtained by calling CAF (ext. 53935).

Accomodation and Technical Service Rates for University of Guelph Clients
Accomodation and Technical Service Rates for External Clients

Questions concerning Animal Accommodation Rates can be addressed to Rose MacQueen , ext. 54300.


Receiving and Delivering of Animals

Those animals, obtained from approved reliable commercial suppliers, are observed to ascertain that the proper number and type of animals have been delivered, and are in good general health. Animals received from other sources are subjected to a complete physical examination (cost transferred to the investigator) before being admitted to the CAF or delivered to another animal facility as designated by an investigator.

Pickup or delivery arrangements for animals received by CAF that are to be housed in facilities other than the CAF must be made prior to the animal's arrival. Animals must be received by appropriate staff in that facility, they will not be left unattended.

For rodents received initially by CAF on behalf of other facilities, arrangements must be made by the receiving facility to perform general health examinations upon receipt. These arrangements are necessary as the opening of the shipping boxes could result in escapes en route to the appropriate facility.


Health Monitoring and Advisory Service

Faculty members and facility supervisors are encouraged to bring matters concerning animal health or problems with care to the attention of the Manager, CAF at ext. 54304 or email Mary Fowler.

If an Investigator/Instructor requires drugs (pharmaceuticals or biological's) to carry out a project or program, or with which to treat animals that are ill, they can contact the Veterinary Technical Staff at x54308 for information.