Quarantine lifted at SPCA shelter

NANAIMO: Ringworm infestation over at SPCA shelter on Labieux Road.

Bonnie Pequin

Bonnie Pequin

It has been six weeks of gruelling and costly security protocol since an outbreak of ringworm forced Nanaimo and District SPCA to close its doors, but the shelter is now open and ready for adoptions.

“It’s been a real struggle. It’s been exhausting for the staff, it’s been exhausting for the animals,” said Leon Davis, branch manager. “They’ve been locked up in cages for six weeks, they’ve gone through a lot, but they’ve recovered.”

The ringworm was discovered in late August and has been pinpointed to a litter of kittens abandoned at the shelter. To contain the outbreak, SPCA staff quarantined the animals into individual cages, cleansing them twice a week with a lime/sulphur solution, and taking culture samples once a week.

Now that the tests have been coming back negative, the SPCA can to resume operations and adoptions, and the volunteer programs are up and running as well. However, the shelter is currently not accepting new animals until further notice.

The outbreak set the branch back approximately $10,000 in lost adoption revenue, and a further $6,000 in medical treatment costs.

“We’re hoping that people will come in and adopt. We have a lot of cats,” said Davis.

There are currently 70 cats and dogs at the Nanaimo shelter, and 60 of those are looking for a place to call home.

“If there was ever an animal that needed a home, it’s these animals who did wonderfully throughout the lockdown,” Davis said. “You’d expect cats to be fighting, biting and scratching through all this testing, and they all took it very well.”

Davis thanked the public for its understanding and support during the past few weeks.

“The community was amazing with donating towels and blankets and things like that,” he said.

To view available animals, please visit the Nanaimo SPCA at 2200 Labieux Road or go to www.spca.bc.ca/adopt.