The ringworm outbreak that closed the Kamloops SPCA shelter three weeks ago is over, at least in part.
Shelter manager Charleen Holloway said Friday the building is reopening and cats are again available for adoption after the outbreak forced a quarantine.
But two rooms are still closed, which house six cats and two rabbits. Holloway said she’s still waiting for a second clean test for ringworm before they can be opened up and the animals adopted.
“Our two communal rooms are closed. We haven’t received enough negative results in a row for us to open those two rooms,” she said, adding she’s hoping those rooms will be open within a week.
The shelter is again open to taking animals in, too, but Holloway said she only has six spaces for cats and a two-month waiting list of people wanting to drop off felines.
“Intake will be limited, we do that by appointment. The wait list is probably back two or three months,” she said.
Six cats tested positive for ringworm out of 47 in the shelter.
They’ve gone through treatment for the fungal skin disease and have a clean bill of health. None of the shelter’s dogs was affected, but they were also quarantined until earlier this week.
Holloway said the closure has created a backlog of animals, including a lot of kittens. The SPCA also has 50 cats and kittens in foster care.
Four years ago, the shelter housed almost 150 cats. Holloway said the number is being restricted to about 50 to give them better conditions and to better prevent the spread of disease.
She said the large number of cats also made it difficult for people adopting to make a choice. The society has seen a better adoption rate with fewer cats, she said.
“People need to be responsible if they’re going to own pets. They need to be sure they’re spayed or neutered or be able to take care of litters,” she said.
“When I came on, the mandate was appointments only, don’t overfill the shelters, you need to care for the animals you can.”
The Kamloops and District Humane Society, which relies solely on volunteer foster homes, has also reported being overwhelmed with cats and kittens this year.