FWACC continues cat intake pause due to virus concerns

Animal Care & Control adoption sale
Animal Care & Control adoption sale(Fort Wayne's NBC)
Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 9:17 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control (FWACC) says it is continuing to divert cat intakes until mid-September amid feline panleukopenia concerns.

FWACC says the disease, also known as the feline distemper or feline parvo, is a highly contagious virus that mostly affects unvaccinated kittens. Officials said on Aug. 18 that they were suspending adoptions and the intake of cats and kittens until Sept. 1 or until officials determine it is safe to resume.

The shelter then said Wednesday morning that due to longer holding periods to fully vaccinate cats in their care as well as capacity issues, cat intakes will be paused until Sept. 15 or until it is deemed safe to resume.

They say anyone can get a cat vaccinated against feline parvo at the shelter but are encouraged to keep the animal at their home to prevent further spread. If someone is unable to keep a stray cat or kitten at home following vaccination, the shelter says they will take it in. They say anyone looking to rehome their pets should do so outside of the shelter.

“As an open access shelter Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control cannot turn away animals coming in from the city or Allen County for any reason. That is why we are asking that pet owners be patient and hold onto their cats a little longer as we work to protect the cats in our care to prevent further spread of panleukopenia in our community,” Director Amy-Jo Sites said. “When we run out of space for animals, we have to make difficult decisions and the last thing we want to do is euthanize animals simply because we do not have space to house them.”

Officials say every cat being adopted must receive two vaccinations to prevent the virus. The vaccines must be given 14 days apart, meaning cats are staying in the shelter nearly three times longer than normal. They say due to the extended stays, kennel space is very limited.

Currently, FWACC says there are 136 cats being housed at the shelter, which is nearly 45% over capacity. There are 174 cats in foster care.

The shelter also notes that they are seeking donations to the Angel Fund to help cover the cost of the additional vaccines, see how to help here.