Humane Society has to put down facility's 200 felines after mass virus outbreak

Jul 01, 2007
By staff

Springfield, mo. — Almost 200 cats were euthanized at the Southwest Missouri Humane Society (SMHS) after a suspected outbreak of the fast-spreading killer strain of calicivirus.

Believed to have come from an infected feral or stray cat dropped off at the shelter, the outbreak was identified the week of June 11 when one shelter cat died, according to a report by Ozarks First.

Unable to determine how many other cats were infected, workers decided to euthanize the entire feline population and then shut down the facility for disinfection.

Many cats are vaccinated against the household form of calicivirus, but not the deadly strain. VS-FCV causes mouth ulcers, swelling and high fever and often leads to a painful death.

Since reopening June 18, SMHS is vaccinating all the cats it receives against VS-FCV.