Lagrange Animal Shelter pausing cat intake due to virus outbreak

Published 10:30 am Saturday, October 23, 2021

The Troup County Animal Shelter recently placed a two-week moratorium on the intake of cats and kittens due to an outbreak of a highly-contagious respiratory illness. The illness currently affects 42 out of the 140 cats in the shelter. 

“I will tell you several weeks ago, we had a number of cats suffering from the same situation, and we were able to isolate and take care of them. And we really thought that we had it under control,” said Captain Mike Pheil with the LaGrange Police Department.

“But over the past month, we’ve just been inundated with cats coming in the shelter and dealing with an overpopulation issue. We were able to control it a couple of weeks ago, but then, on Monday, I got notice from the employees out there that this thing was just spreading, and we needed to do something different.”

The shelter is currently using their mobile unit to house the infected cats and decrease the risk of the illness spreading.

“We’re fortunate enough that we have a mobile unit where we typically used to take animals out for mobile adoption,” Pheil said. “We had that parked at the facility, and it’s just enough room where we can isolate all the sick animals in there”.

The shelter is currently being helped by the Puppy Pipeline, a nonprofit that assists shelters in the south rehome their animals to the north where there is a greater demand.

“Plenty of the healthy cats that we’ve been able to isolate here will be shipped out on a Puppy Pipeline transport to get them out of this environment. They’re still in good health, so we’re going to move them on out,” Pheil said.

Pheil said the biggest thing that citizens of Troup County can do to help the shelter is to make sure to spay and neuter their cats. 

“Get them spayed or neutered and care for them and properly, as opposed to letting this uncontrolled reproduction just run amok,” Pheil said.