SCITUATE – Animal Shelter Scituate has reported a sharp rise in the number of cats suffering from the fungal ringworm as the kitten season and one of the rainiest summers on record collide.
Most of the kittens adopted through Scituate Animal Shelter were born on the streets to wild mothers and rescued through outreach programs. Adult cats are sterilized and vaccinated and kittens are taken to shelters.
This year, the highlight of the kitten season coincided with unusually rainy weather, creating the perfect conditions for the fungus that causes ringworm to thrive.
As a result, veterinary clinics and animal charities like Scituate Animal Shelter are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of kittens with the disease.
“Ringworm is highly treatable, but also very contagious,” said Maryann Regan, executive director of Scituate Animal Shelter. “Many shelters euthanize pets with the disease to minimize the spread to other pets and even humans. We chose not to.
Instead, the shelter chose to care for the kittens while testing and isolating other kittens and cats to prevent the spread. As a result, the shelter had to temporarily suspend the intake of new cats.
“We felt that these lovely, friendly kittens deserved a chance to live a happy life. But we have to make sure that our environment is completely free from this infection, so we have stopped welcoming new cats and kittens for the next eight to 10 weeks, ”Regan said, noting that the staff will only take care of the new ones. kittens during this period. .
The organization is asking for donations to help pay for increased veterinary and staffing expenses and to replace lost income from adoption fees that the shelter would normally collect over the next few weeks. Donations can be made to ScituateAnimalShelter.org/donate.
The shelter is also seeking donations of used cat toys and clean towels. People can drop off these items in a 24-hour donation box next to the shelter entrance at 780 Chief Justice Cushing Highway in Scituate.