Harnett County Animal Shelter improving policy after 59 cats were euthanized in June due to panleuk exposure

The Harnett County Animal Shelter in North Carolina is improving policy and procedures after 59 cats were euthanized in June due to panleukopenia (AKA panleuk) exposure. PoC covered the tragic story here and here.

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Harnett County Interim Assistant County Manager Brian Haney stated in an interview with WNCN News that a consultant veterinarian has been hired and the shelter also plans to hire a rescue coordinator.

Although Haney says he’s unaware of any cats being sick or dying from the extremely contagious and potentially fatal disease since June, Rebekah Diky with Three Blind Mice Animal Rescue saw sick cats in the same area as healthy cats back in September. This was confirmed by animal advocate Dr. LaVonda Fowler.

Diky says the staff appeared not to notice the sick cats who were stacked on top of the healthy cats. She rescued 11 kittens in June and only two of them survived.

Haney says that more space for the cats is one change coming to the shelter.

“It’s an issue people are passionate about and that makes sense we understand that, but our county is one of the fastest-growing counties in North Carolina and as a result our population has grown and there are a need for more services and the county is trying to keep up with that need while addressing the fiscal responsibilities we’re charged with.” 

Reporter Kelly Kennedy should be commended for showing up at the shelter after Haney refused the media request for a camera interview over the phone. Be sure to watch her interview here.

Hopefully, Haney will make good on his decisions to take better care of the cats. A change.org petition was started by Jennifer Marriner asking that an audit is done in this shelter and to seek new leadership.

Anyone with further information or just to speak your mind is asked to sound off in the comment section.

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