SpokAnimal employees faced a heartbreaking decision when a deadly virus was discovered in several of the cats at the shelter: euthanize every cat or risk spreading the infection.
They opted to put down 70 cats.
“It was not a good night,” said Laura Thulean, SpokAnimal’s chief operating officer.
On July 30, shelter operators discovered that two litters of kittens brought to the shelter were infected with feline distemper, a viral infection that attacks the lining of the cat’s gastrointestinal tract. Cats with the virus experience bloody diarrhea and severe dehydration, and it is often fatal.
The kittens were strays, apparently found in a West Central garage, Thulean said. They didn’t start exhibiting symptoms until a few days after they’d been dropped off at SpokAnimal.
By then, it was too late. Other animals were already showing symptoms, and several random diagnostic tests showed many of the cats had the virus. Kaitlin Gillespie, SR
Have you ever adopted a pet from a shelter?