New Westminster Animal Services euthanize cats at shelter to prevent calicivirus spread
New Westminster, BC – The City of New Westminster Animal Services branch was forced to euthanize 16 cats in the city’s animal shelter today to prevent further spread of calicivirus, an infectious feline viral disease. The particular strain of calicivirus found at the animal shelter has a more than 70% mortality rate. The decision to euthanize the cats was made following recommendation from a team of veterinarians.
“The decision to euthanize the cats at the shelter was not taken lightly,” said Dave Cole, Supervisor of Animal Services. “We took this action on the advice of our veterinarians to prevent spread of the virus to other cats in the community.”
The results of a round of blood tests conducted earlier this week found that all cats at the New Westminster Animal Shelter were infected with calicivirus. The shelter was closed to the public on November 9th after the virus was first detected and will remain closed for up to three more weeks while staff perform a complete decontamination of the facility.
“We won’t re-open the shelter until we are certain it is safe to do so,” said Cole. “While it’s been a very tough couple of weeks for our staff and volunteers, we look forward to getting back to normal and providing animal services to the community.”