EDITORIAL: Disease takes toll on SPCA

NANAIMO: If ever a reliable source of funding for the B.C. SPCA was needed, it’s now.

If ever a reliable source of funding for the B.C. SPCA was needed, it’s now.

Several shelters around the province face a crisis, which appears simplistic in nature, but threatens to cost the organizations thousands of dollars they can’t afford.

Ringworm – a skin condition caused by a fungus – is making its way through shelters in Abbotsford, Kamloops, Prince Rupert and Squamish, infecting animals awaiting new homes.

For Nanaimo’s SPCA branch, the disease was introduced through a litter of kittens dropped off at the Labieux Road office late last month.

Ringworm was discovered on three kittens in the litter Aug. 29 and the doors closed the next day as a quarantine was declared. Those doors remain closed with 18 cats and two dogs now infected.

SPCA staff are now caring for the infected animals with oral medication, and all cats and dogs are cleansed with a sulphur/lime solution every four days to hopefully prevent the spread of the fungus.

Along with the costs of medicine and numerous litres of cleansing solution, the shelters have been hit with another costly blow as they cannot adopt animals out to the public for fear of spreading the disease. It’s the responsible thing to do.

The public should pay close attention to those actions, as being a pet owner means more than fun times spent with an animal. It includes being responsible for having it spayed or neutered so unwanted kittens and puppies are not dropped off at the SPCA doorstep.

The provincial government also needs to step up to the plate and acknowledge the work done by the SPCA through a steady flow of funding.

Ringworm is a common disease found throughout the community. But it’s causing financial trouble the SPCA – without some help – might have trouble recovering from.

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