Sanford, N.C. — Officials with the Lee County Animal Shelter announced Monday they are unable to take in anymore cats due to a deadly disease spreading that could be through their shelter.
The shelter will not be able to accept cats again until Sept. 26.
Feline panleukopenia, also called feline distemper, causes gastrointestinal problems in cats and causes their white blood cell count to drop.
The shelter is currently in the process of disinfecting the facility to prevent any further spread of the disease. On average, the shelter takes in 12 new cats each week.
“Rescue groups and individuals who have adopted felines from the shelter in the past two weeks have been contacted and notified of the feline’s possible exposure to the disease,” an announcement from the animal shelter said.
Any cat that was recently adopted from Lee County could also be at risk. Shelter staff said in a statement that they were available to answer any questions from people who recently adopted a cat from Lee County.
People can contact the shelter at 919-776-7446.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, the virus is highly contagious and can be passed around through feces, water and food bowls or on shoes and clothing. Because feline panleukopenia is a virus, there is no known treatment.
It is recommended by veterinarians that kittens get vaccinated and boosters against this disease until they are 20 weeks old.
There is no known risk from panleukopenia among humans or canines, so the shelter will continue to accept dogs.