Ringworm outbreak at York County SPCA forces cat euthanasia

A ringworm outbreak at the York County SPCA has forced its staff to euthanize more than two dozen cats.  The decision’s created a lot of negative feedback from the community.  But SPCA officials made the tough decision because of a problem you can help control.

90 caged cats fill the quarantine room inside the York County SPCA.  But the cats aren’t up for adoption.  Animal care taker, Chrissy Proffit, is treating the cats for ringworm.

York County SPCA executive director, Melissa Smith, says likely a stray cat spread its undetected ringworm to 120 cats.

Smith says, “That was too large a number for us to successfully treat so we decided to decrease that number down to a more manageable amount we could quarantine.”

36 remaining cats were put down.

Smith says, “Decisions are never taken lightly. And the decisions we made in this situation were after hours of deliberation with two of our staff vets and management team.”

Proffit says, “The shelter has only so many spaces and the reality is we have to make tough decision, it’s heart breaking.”

It’s a decision Smith says is preventable by spaying or neutering your pet.

“How we as a community can stop the overpopulation problem which leads to overcrowding in shelters,” says Smith.

Staff members say two employees are also being treated for ringworm.

They say it took 12 days to make their decision to euthanize.  Within those days, the shelter received 63 additional cats.  It will be several weeks until the majority of the cats are up for adoption again.