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Feline Illness Halts PA Adoptions

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
**How terribly sad!!!

HARRISBURG, Pa. September 5, 2003 — A feline illness responsible for the death of hundreds of cats this summer prompted some mid-state humane societies to stop cat adoptions for several weeks, officials said.
The Harrisburg society lost more than 600 cats to distemper, a contagious virus whose symptoms include fever, depression, trouble breathing and vomiting, at two shelters in June and July. It stopped offering cats for adoption during a monthlong period that began July 7.

"Our kitten population was dying," said Kim L. Moreland of the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area Inc. "Seventy-five percent of our kittens got the disease and died from it."

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The Humane League of Lancaster County resumed cat adoptions last week after a suspension that began in late July because of 70 feline fatalities. Thirty other cats and kittens were euthanized.

Shelter representatives said the outbreak appears to have calmed since June, and some societies are taking steps to prevent the virus's spread.

All cats at the Cumberland Valley Animal Hospital, for instance, are vaccinated against distemper, while the Harrisburg society has hired a full-time veterinarian to treat cats and monitor their health.

"We're on the road to recovery," Moreland said. "We've seen a decrease in distemper cases over the past few weeks. But we won't get out of the upper respiratory problem season until November, after the first frost."

Feline distemper does not affect humans or dogs.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights
post #2 of 3
How terribly sad.
post #3 of 3
That is awfull
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