Feline panleukopenia puts hundreds of cats from Central California SPCA at risk including at PetSmart
Hundreds of kittens and cats that have passed through the Central California SPCA (some to PetSmart) are at risk of contracting deadly panleukopenia.
Central California SPCA have an outbreak of panleuk (Feline panleukopenia or feline distemper) and they have 30,000 cats passing through their facility annually.
They use PetSmart as an outlet for adoptions so four Petsmart stores have infected cats as well. It seems to be a nightmare.
Walter Salvari with the SPCA said:
“Hundreds of cats were exposed to this…When they come out come into the shelter, we do vaccinate upon intake but at times they’re already exposed by the time they come in.”
The source of this highly contagious virus is stray cats brought in to the SPCA facility who have the disease and who were not vaccinated.
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It seems that there some of the cats were not quarantined before allowing them contact with the resident cats. There would seem to be some breakdown of protocol but I am not sure. Shouldn’t systems be in place to prevent this sort of mass infection happening? They have now quarantined the cats it appears.
Many are distraught. Six cats from the center have died. One Petsmart customer, Jamie Bennett has lost one of his kitten adoptions, Bernie. Bernie spread the disease to Noah, a two-year-old who is hooked up to an IV and fighting for his life.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Jamie said.
This is a mighty big problem for cat rescue in Fresno, California. Workers are frantically disinfecting the facility with Accel (it uses accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide technology). This is bleach which is the best disinfectant.
I hope the shelter is picking up the tab for Noah. Bless volunteers but then need much more extensive training and supervision than they get or receive.