There’s good news for Rim country children who hope to find a kitten under the tree this Christmas.
The Payson Humane Society will begin accepting cats and kittens again Wednesday, Dec. 11.
The animal shelter has been without cats for two weeks after euthanizing its entire cat population due to an outbreak of feline herpes.
“We are re-doing all the walls with backboard to seal them, and we won’t be using any carpeting or carpet climbers because they can hold bacteria,” shelter manager Diane Fitzpatrick said. “We will only be using things we can throw in the washer every day.”
Four adult cats which have been kept in isolation will actually be available for adoption Dec. 11, and shelter assistant manager Kim Garza-Myers doesn’t think it will be long before there will be kittens available also.
“We have a few people on a waiting list to bring in cats, but no kittens that I know of, Garza-Myers said. “But I’m guessing we’ll have some kittens in about a week.”
Feline herpes is a virus that normally strikes younger cats rather than older ones. It is an upper respiratory ailment that affects the eyes and nasal passages, causing severe infections.
There is no cure for the disease which is easily transmitted from cat to cat. More than 100 cats had to be euthanized and the entire shelter disinfected.
“There was no other option but to depopulate, disinfect and try to start fresh,” said Dr. Alan Hallman, the local veterinarian who worked with the humane society on the problem.
Hallman located a vaccine for the disease, so all new cats and kittens will be vaccinated for feline herpes when they come to the shelter.