5 cats dead after feline virus outbreak

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - An outbreak of a fatal cat disease is taking place at animal shelters and clinics in the Lakewood Community.

The disease has already claimed the lives of several cats in the Lakewood Community in just a little over a month.

"We've had quite an outbreak in the community that kittens are coming in with it," Citizens Community for Lakewood Animal Shelter (CCLAS) Treasurer Karen Vlach-Lasher said.

The non-curable disease is called Feline Pan Leukopenia.

"It's very similar to K9 Parvo. It's fever vomiting Diarrhea and seizures," said Vlach-Lasher.

Vlach-Lasher has grown deeply saddened by the death of half a dozen of these cats.

"It's hard breaking to make the decision of do we treat this kitten knowing it may pass away anyway or how sick is it," she said.

The shelter has been disinfected, but the outbreak has made it harder for both CCLAS and the animal shelter to rescue any cats.

"The city of Lakewood has shut down the shelter here for two weeks for intakes," Vlach-Lasher said.

Vlach-Lasher is just hoping to help spread the word on how this disease can be prevented from affecting your cat.

"This Pan Leuk Virus is in the environment everywhere. All cats are exposed to it but to keep them vaccinated is the protection that you can do for your cats," Vlach-Lasher said.

Her goal is to just save as many cats as possible.

"They're fighting for their lives. When one passes away it's absolutely heartbreaking each and everyone has a little soul that you want to save," said Vlach-Lasher.

There are at least a dozen cats in the Lakewood area who are undergoing treatment for the deadly disease. All of  them have been placed in foster homes, but their medical bills are rising.

CCLAS has already made a gofundme page to help pay for the medical bills. If you'd like to help click this link.

Also if you'd like to find out more information on how you can get your cat vaccinated, you can click this link.

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