Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter will not be accepting any new cats to its shelter for at least two weeks because of an infectious virus outbreak.
Last week, the shelter took in 133 cats from a single-dwelling hoarding case, and on Tuesday the cats tested positive for feline panleukopenia, which is a highly contagious virus that mostly affects unvaccinated kittens. The virus does not affect people or other animals.
Previously, the kittens had been testing negative for the virus, but there can be a delay between the incubation period and when symptoms are displayed. The shelter said in a news release that they believe the kittens came to the facility with the virus already.
The exposed kittens are being quarantined from the remaining cats from the hoarding case and any others who were exposed to them. The shelter won’t accept any new cats for at least two weeks, and then it will reevaluate the situation.
BARCS is contacting all adopters and rescue partners who are connected to the case, and will provide free testing and care for kittens who need it. The shelter encouraged concerned individuals to call or email for any questions.
In the meantime, if a lost cat is found or needs to be surrendered, the shelter is encouraging people to “shelter in place” and hold on to the cat. BARCS can still help provide supplies, advice or other resources. Additionally, people can check with other shelters or rescue groups in the area or use the re-homing tool on BARCS’ website.