Deadly virus affecting cats confirmed at CMPD Animal Care & Control

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Protection and Control Department confirmed positive cases of feline panleukopenia and implemented immediate protocol changes that were activated on the 11 July when the first cases were discovered.

“As I’m sure you’ve heard, we’ve seen cases of panleukopenia virus in the past week. It’s not totally unexpected – every shelter sees its cases every year. Like parvovirus in puppies (which is very similar to this parvovirus in cats), it is everywhere in the environment and not so easily eliminated. Vaccination is our best defense against this disease, which is why we vaccinate upon admission here at the shelter,” said Dr. Julie Holifield, Animal Care & Control veterinarian in an internal email to AC&C volunteers and foster families for cats/kittens.

Changes immediately implemented for a minimum of 14 days:

  • The refuge remains open to the selective reception of felines. The shelter does not accept adult stray cats and delays admission for owners of adult cats. However, the staff can accommodate orphaned newborn kittens. Kittens that have a mother cannot be accepted at this time and will have to stay with their mother.
  • The kitten nursery is closed on admission and remaining kittens are carefully monitored.
  • Currently, any panleukopenia positive cat/kitten will be euthanized.

Shelter representatives say they don’t have the capacity and resources to treat them in-house or in foster homes, and the risk is too great.

No medicine is able to kill the virus and without intensive care, up to 90% of infected cats can die.

Feline panleukopenia damages the cells that line the intestines, attacks the bone marrow and lymph nodes, can cause high fever, lethargy, vomiting, dehydration and more.

There are kittens and cats that are ready for adoption. They have been moved to a new temporary adoption area and adopters will be counseled on feline panleukopenia.

Members of the public, volunteers and foster families should email [email protected] for more information.

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Boyd S. Abbott