The Rowan Co pound in NC group-houses cats in a dog run. Kittens are in a neighboring dog run. The pound sells all pets for $70 with no discount for rescue groups. There is no foster program listed on the website. Rowan Co killed 1452 cats in 2013 – more than half of all the cats they took in. The pound currently has 11 pets listed on Petfinder – all dogs.
Yesterday, Rowan Co issued a public notice via e-mail and social media that states the county wants to keep the pound free of feline panleukopenia virus and as such, has instituted some new cat policies. My summary:
- Please don’t touch the cats.
- In order to reduce “airborne dust particles”, the county is switching the kind of cat litter it uses.
- All cats and kittens will be killed after 7 days.
The notice further asks that people help educate the public about the importance of vaccination and provides a link to an article on Wikipedia as well as one on the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program website. I clicked that link and snipped the following bits of information on panleukopenia:
- [A]dult cats with current vaccinations are at very low risk.
- Control is dependent on effective vaccination, keeping cats separate during the time they may be incubating the disease, and careful cleaning and disinfection of all areas in which cats are housed.
- Vaccination for panleukopenia is highly effective if performed correctly. A good vaccine program can substantially reduce spread of infection in a shelter. […] All cats 4-5 weeks of age and older should receive a modified live panleukopenia vaccine immediately upon shelter entry.
I didn’t see anything about not touching cats or cat litter or arbitrary killing of all cats after 7 days on the Koret page. Maybe they forgot. Or maybe Rowan Co, whose pound primarily functions as a killing facility with regard to cats, is simply giving itself excuses to kill cats. More.
It sounds to me as if Rowan Co should be implementing a vaccination upon intake policy for all cats, appropriately quarantining new arrivals, developing a foster program and conducting the prescribed housing and cleaning routines recommended by Koret. The county’s newly announced protocols are not based on current shelter medicine science. If the county truly wants to reduce the occurrence of panleukopenia in the pound, they might start by reading their own link and doing their jobs. But that sounds like work. And arbitrary killing is apparently so much easier.
(Thanks Jane for the story.)