The Ballarat Animal Shelter has announced it has limited capacity to take on unvaccinated cats or kittens due to a worldwide cat vaccine shortage.
The shelter says the global shortage has left it with no provision to vaccinate cats and kittens upon entry.
“Having unvaccinated cats within the facility will lead to risks of outbreaks of respiratory viral disease and feline panleukopenia, which can be fatal and detrimental to the current population of cats currently at the shelter,” it said in a statement today.
“The Ballarat Animal Shelter is not alone in the impact of the global cat vaccine shortage, with many shelters and veterinary practices commencing similar processes to help keep cats safe and healthy.
“The situation will be closely monitored, and the Ballarat Animal Shelter will resume normal procedures as soon as it is safe to do so.
“Wherever possible, residents are encouraged to consider alternative options before surrendering unvaccinated, healthy cats. This may include speaking to your local veterinary practice regarding veterinary costs, seeking support from friends or family members, or contacting the Ballarat Animal Shelter if you are struggling to meet the costs of pet food.”
The shelter says surrendering unvaccinated cats or kittens to the facility places the animals at risk of being exposed to potentially fatal diseases.
The shelter has also suspended its cat trapping program. Any cat nuisance complaints will instead be handled by City of Ballarat Council’s Animal Management team.
“The shelter is unfortunately unable to take any trapped cats during this period.”
“These measures are to ensure what’s best for the animals currently at the shelter, to mitigate the risk of illness to all animals. It also aims to ensure that the Shelter is not condemning any new impounded cats or kittens arriving to being exposed to disease, as they are unable to be protected with a vaccination schedule.”
If you need advice around surrendering your cat or kitten, please contact the Ballarat Animal Shelter and next steps can be discussed.