Union Co., S.C. (WSPA)- The Union County Animal Shelter announced Monday that it cannot accept any cats or kittens for two weeks due to a virus outbreak.
A suspiciously high mortality rate prompted the shelter to have one deceased cat tested. Results from the test revealed the cat died of a highly contagious virus called panleukopenia.
“The cats that we have here are the cats that have not shown any signs,” said Union County Animal Shelter Manager and Animal Control Officer Nathan Burdine. “We’ve had a few that have actually passed away due to that. We did have to put some down that were showing symptoms and signs. That was mainly because instead of letting them suffer through it, it was more humane to do that.”
Experts say the virus particularly affects cats, and can be prevented through vaccination.
“It’s more related to the virus that causes parvo virus in dogs but dogs can’t get panluekopenia and cats can’t get parvo,” said Care Animal Regional Emergency Veterinarian Dr. Nancy Hughston. “Very contagious. You can carry it on your hands, on your clothes, on your feet. It can be transmitted by food an water bowls.”
Panleukopenia is a dangerous disease to cats which is why the shelter is suspending all cats intake for the next two weeks while they clean up all contaminated areas.
The shelter will begin accepting cats again for adoptions on July 24.
However, emergency cat pick-ups, such as a cat being hit by a car or the owner passing away, will still be available.