Thursday, 2 June 2011


A deadly virus that has broken out at an RSPCA shelter has claimed the lives of 25 kittens and six cats.

Woodside Animal Centre's cattery has been closed since the outbreak of feline parvo virus, and cats and kittens that have survived the outbreak are being kept in quarantine there.
Staff are having to turn away owners bringing pets into the centre, while some strays and injured cats that need the centre's help are being sent to private catteries, with the charity footing the bill.
Lisa Smith, manager of the centre, in Scudamore Road, Leicester, said: "The virus causes sickness and diarrhoea and, in most cases, death.
"It's affected the young kittens badly.
"One cat that died had given birth to five kittens, and they've all died too.
"It's heartbreaking, and it happens so quickly.
"We've been leaving what look like healthy cats at the centre at the end of the day and coming in the next morning and pulling out dead bodies."
Lisa added: "We're doing everything we can, but we're really battling against it.
"In one day alone, we had 11 injured cats that we'd taken responsibility for and we've had to place them in a private boarding centre."
Staff said the outbreak, which started earlier this month, was now under control, and they were hoping to reopen the cattery in a few weeks.
In the meantime, they are appealing for cat foster carers to help look after the dozens of animals on the centre's waiting list.
Animal care assistant Rachel Allcock said: "It's now under control but to err on the side of caution, the cattery is still closed so it doesn't spread.
"But it's left us with the problem of cats that still need our help because we are unable to admit them here.
"We want to appeal to foster carers who can look after cats that we can't admit until the cattery is back open again.
"We will supply all the food, we just need someone to help for a few weeks until we are able to reopen."
The outbreak was caused by a cat coming into the centre that had not been vaccinated against the virus.
Although the centre vaccinates most animals as soon as they are taken in, those that are too young or on medication cannot be inoculated straight away.
Rachel said: "We need to get the message out that if cats are not vaccinated they could potentially pick up this deadly disease."
Vet John Borrajo, of Medivet Borrajo's Veterinary Clinic, in Birstall, is helping care for the cats at Woodside.
He said: "This is the first time in many years that there's been an outbreak here – I think the last one was in the early 90s.
"It's very important that people vaccinate their cats to protect against the virus as there's no magic medicine once they have it.
"It is under control at Woodside now and we would hope it won't be too long before the cattery is open.
"They want to get it open as soon as possible but if it's opened too early it could spiral down and more cats could be lost."

1 comment:

Ark Angels said...

Ark Angels raise money for local animal charities, run by volunteers dedicated to improving the lives of abused and neglected animals. 100% of the money we raise goes directly to where it is needed most, helping animals in distress. Your Donation Makes a Difference...One Animal at a Time.

All fund raising proceeds are donated to the following charities...

PAWED - People for Animal Welfare in El Dorado County

HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary

Sierra Wildlife Rescue