The shelter where I volunteer is a no kill shelter unless the cat tests 
positive for Feline Leukemia or Feline Aids. If they do, they are immediately 
euthanized. That day. ?? What I'd like to do is to convince them to give me a 
few days to see if I can find anyone who will adopt these cats before they are 
killed.? I understand the theory of the shelter. But they don't look at FeLV + 
the same way I do.? They truly believe that this is a cat with a death 
sentence.? Since I have a boy that has lived with me for two years, and lived 
well, I see that these cats may have a long life ahead if given a chance.? And 
I know that in some cases you can test a cat, have it test positive, and then 
test it again in a few weeks and have it test negative. ? This is a small new 
shelter and they may be amenable to discussion.? And since I had a vet tell me 
that I should have this cat euthanized when I took him in to be neutered, I 
guess it's a particularly sore spot with me.? I think the General is pretty 
happy that I didn't listen to that vet.

Sidney and the General


 


 

-----Original Message-----
From: patricia.a.elk...@gsk.com
To: felvtalk@felineleukemia.org
Sent: Mon, 23 Mar 2009 8:24 am
Subject: [Felvtalk]  Euthanizing FELV+ cats in shelters










With respect to the general practice of euthanizing FELV+ cats in 
shelters, having fostered many cats from
a big city shelter that of course was underfunded and understaffed, I can 
say that in my city it is impossible to find foster homes, never mind
adoptive homes, for all that test positive. 

Very young kittens cannot be tested reliably and of course, the need for 
foster homes for the littlest babies is great.
When fosterers finally test those kittens and find out that one or more is 
positive, there are really only a couple of options.
That home can keep the kitten sequestered if possible for retesting when 
older or take it back to be euthanized.
Then what happens if the kitten retests positive?  Or what about the older 
cat that is infected shortly before it gets
into the shelter and tests negative when going to a foster home but if 
actually carrying the virus?

In my case, I ended up with 3 positive one year olds along with my adult 
cats who are vaccinated.
I have decided to no longer foster any other cats because, outside of the 
logistics of separating which would be too hard
in my situation, I don't want to introduce a new stressor in the house 
that might trigger the FELV to become active
in these positive ones.  My answer is to care for these positives for the 
rest of their lives.

However, I fostered and found adoptive homes for > 100 kittens and cats in 
the last two years but now, because I am hospicing these 3 cats, it is 
fair to 
say that a good number of cats will die in the next two years as the kill 
rate is significant here.  It is a really painful fact that I could
save the lives of many more than three cats if I put these FELV+ cats 
down.

Therefore, because healthy happy well adjusted wonderful pet cats are put 
down every single day of the year in my
city and probably most other big cities, I think that a policy of 
euthanizing cats that test positive for an incurable illness before
euthanizing healthy adoptable cats makes sense.
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