The cat-killing virus at Otago SPCA has gone and adoptions
have resumed but rigorous cleaning continues.
Executive officer Sophie McSkimming said once the
formaldehyde used to clean the shelter had dried, rooms would
The shelter was taking in stray cats again but they were
being fostered out while cleaning continued, she said.
The shelter was put under strict quarantine conditions last
month after a stray cat carrying the feline panleukopenia
virus (FPV) - which primarily attacks the stomach lining and
the bone marrow - infected other cats, Ms McSkimming said.
''It's been harrowing - horrible.''
Only 40 cats of the 120 at the SPCA at the time of the
initial outbreak had come into contact with the sick cat, she
The virus had killed only kittens and young cats. SPCA Otago
would review its policy and procedures but it should not be
blamed for the virus killing the cats, she said.
''It's been brought to us out of the community so it's
nothing that SPCA has done . . . it's people who don't get
their cats vaccinated and then dump them,'' Ms McSkimming
The virus was contained in the isolation and stray rooms and
had not spread to the adoption room, she said.
After the shelter was quarantined, about 50 cats were
fostered, among 40 people, after the shelter made a call for
help in the Otago Daily Times.
''The response ... was just amazing - it was incredible. If
it wasn't for those people, we would have been in strife.''