FRESNO, CALIFORNIA – Literally hundreds of kittens and cats which have passed through the Central California SPCA are currently at risk of contracting a virus that could lead to death.
Jamie Bennett’s 2-year-old cat Noah is now fighting for his life while hooked up to an IV.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Bennett stated.
Noah contracted panleukopenia, which is a virus similar to Parvo for dogs. He contracted the disease from Bennett’s 2-month-old kitten Bernie.
“I just wanted him to have a friend and that’s the reason I went to PetSmart because the other kitten has a mustache just like he does,” Bennett explained.
Bernie had to be put down as the direct result of the virus. He was just one of the animals from the Central California SPCA up for adoption at the pet store.
Walter Salvari, who is with the SPCA says there was an exposure at their facility.
“Hundreds of cats were exposed to this,” he stated.
Staff spent the entire afternoon on Thursday quarantining rooms and kennels in its five buildings to keep it from spreading.
“We are pretty much going out there and cleaning up with a chemical called Accel and it should kill the virus in 10 minutes,” Salvari explained.
Salvari claims that so far so, far six cats have died from the virus, all of them were adopted from the center.
“It’s very sad to see that this is happening here, we take over 30,000 animals a year so there’s a ton of animals coming through our doors,” he stated.
Salvari says stray animals taken in who are not vaccinated may carry the virus.
“When they come out come into the shelter, we do vaccinate upon intake but at times they’re already exposed by the time they come in.”
Bennett hates that this has happened to her, and she is now hoping it won’t happen to anyone else.
“It’s a deadly, highly contagious disease,” Bennett concluded. “I just wanted him to have a friend.”
Central California SPCA says it will be going to a total of four PetSmart locations from Madera to Clovis to quarantine them as well.