LOGAN -- The Cache Humane Society was forced to euthanize 30 cats at its shelter this week after an outbreak of an extremely contagious and fatal virus.
“This is a very unfortunate circumstance. But after exhaustive research and discussions with veterinarians and other shelter professionals, we made a decision to protect the hundreds of cats/kittens that we will be receiving over the next months," said Roland Bringhurst, Cache Humane Society Executive Director, in a press release about the incident.
The virus is called Virulent Systemic Feline Calcivirus (VS-FCV) and was brought into the shelter by a cat that was either impounded by animal control or surrendered by an owner, the press release said.
The euthanization is followed by a 10-day disinfection process at the shelter. During that time, no new cats will be admitted there. Cats can still be brought in for vaccinations and surgeries, however.
"Between the disinfection that has taken place and the isolation between cat areas at the shelter and the areas for surgery, cats coming in for services should be adequately protected," Cache Humane Society veterinarian Dr. Justin Manning explained in the press release.
VS-FCV only affects cats and most often leads to an agonizing death. Signs and symptoms of the virus are fever, ulceration of the oral cavity, itchy running nose, sneezing, inflammation of the mouth, acute arthritis (limping kitten syndrome) and pneumonia.
Carl Arky with Humane Society of Utah tells FOX 13 News VS-FCV is a common disease that can be guarded against by vaccinations and by keeping cats indoors. The Humane Soceity of Utah was not impacted by the outbreak in Cache County, but Arky said Cache Humane did the right thing.
"It can happen anywhere," Arky said.
The Cache Humane Society urges cat owners to consult with their veterinarians if their cats display any of those symptoms.
Anyone who has recently adopted a cat from the Cache Humane Society and suspects the cat is infected may bring the animal back to the Humane Society. If the cat is showing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it may be humanely euthanized.
The Cache Humane Society can be reached at (435) 792-3920.