A recent panleukopenia outbreak at the Hall County Animal Shelter has forced the facility to place a hold on all cat owner-surrenders, stray intakes and cat adoptions while the shelter quarantines its cats and kittens.
“Our primary concern is the health and well-being of our feline population, and we are taking all the necessary steps to address the outbreak,” Hall County Animal Services Director Trey Garcia said. “Deep cleaning and sanitization have already taken place, and it is critical that we now quarantine all of our intakes and limit adoptions for a minimum of 14 days.”
Panleukopenia is a highly contagious viral disease found in cats and kittens that is caused by the feline parvovirus and is a common occurrence in open-admission animal welfare facilities due to the nature of facility operations.
“Since we take in so many animals from a variety of situations, there is always a greater chance of illness and disease – the bulk of our intake have no prior veterinary care,” Garcia said.
In an effort to contain the spread of the virus during the 14-day quarantine period, the Hall County Animal Shelter will be limiting its feline intakes to injured cats only. The shelter will not be accepting owner-surrenders or stray cat intakes, while all cat adoptions will also be on hold; however, dog adoptions are still open to the public.
“Any person who has recently adopted a cat that is showing signs of illness should call the animal shelter,” Garcia said. “We will conduct a free test for the virus and offer outpatient care should the cat be positive for panleukopenia.”
Common signs and symptoms of panleukopenia include depression, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea and lethargy.
The Hall County Animal Shelter will continue to provide the community with alternative resources for found cats and kittens while intakes are limited. Anyone who is willing to help foster animals is encouraged to call the shelter at 678-450-1587 for more information.