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Anchorage animal shelter suspends intake of cats

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 6:15 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - If you’ve recently lost a feline friend, don’t count on the city’s animal shelter to have it. That’s because Anchorage Animal Care and Control has temporarily suspended all cat intakes due to an outbreak of the feline panleukopenia virus.

It’s a highly contagious virus that primarily affects kittens and young cats, and almost exclusively unvaccinated felines. However, it can be prevented by following a routine vaccine series.

AACC Public Relations Coordinator Laura Holman describes the symptoms as diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, lethargy and sudden death. She said that if cat owners notice any of these symptoms in their cat, to contact the pet’s veterinarian immediately.

Shelter officials say most of the cats they get are unvaccinated and say halting new intakes, including strays and owner surrenders, is the first step to prevent the virus from spreading inside the shelter.

The shelter does have a limited number of cats and kittens available for adoption. Those animals have been isolated away from the rest of the cat population in order to prevent exposure to the virus.

Shelter officials suggest the following ways to help cats and kittens in the community during this time:

  • Attempt to rehome a cat using Adopt A Pet’s rehome website
  • Post found cats on local Facebook lost pet pages and NextDoor
  • Post “found” signs with a photo of the cat around your neighborhood and/or on your neighborhood NextDoor app
  • File a report with AACC by calling customer service at 907-343-8122
  • Bring a found cat to a local veterinarian clinic to get it checked for a microchip to help locate the owner
  • Contact other rescue groups to see if they can accommodate any arrivals
  • Ensure that personal pets are up to date on their vaccinations

And if someone has lost a cat, the shelter suggests exploring the neighborhood, checking with neighbors, going on social media, and filing a lost report with the animal shelter.

AACC will be posting updates to its website and Facebook page and detailed information can be found on the Municipality of Anchorage’s website.

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