Feline distemper kills dozens of cats at central Delaware shelter

The Kent County SPCA has been forced to suspend intake of cats after a deadly outbreak of feline distemper.

The clinic in Camden, Delaware also has been dealing throughout the year with a high volume of cats being given up by their owners or abandoned.

SPCA Community Outreach Manager Mary Ann D’Amato says more than 30 cats and kittens have either died of distemper or had to be humanely euthanized in recent weeks.  The shelter closed for a few days and given a thorough cleaning last week.

“We are an open access shelter so we have an increased capacity for animals to come through, so there’s also an increased capacity for illness because of the population coming through and being housed here,” D’Amato said.  Shelter operators and local veterinarians decided the best course of action was to stop the intake of cats for a two-week period, until October 25th.

“This was not an easy decision for the shelter to make,” D’Amato said.  “All shelters will tell you, and cat rescue groups as well, everybody has been very overwhelmed this year, both economically and population-wise.”

The Kent County SPCA is currently looking for individuals and families willing to consider adopting a cat or kitten.  D’Amato says this also stresses the organization financially, and monetary donations as well as materials such as towels, blankets, canned food, cat toys and beds are also welcome.

For more information, the Kent County SPCA can be reached at 302-698-3006.

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