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Angels of Assisi to shut down following disease concerns

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Angels of Assisi in Roanoke is temporarily closed after dozens of cats tested positive for an infectious, often fatal disease.

The shelter said it transferred in 38 cats from other shelters in the area and on Thursday the cats tested positive for Pan leukopenia.

The disease cannot spread to humans or other species.

Angels of Assisi said it will be closed for at least 14 days to sanitize the shelter and prevent the disease from spreading.

It plans to reopen July 1st.

See below for full release.

Roanoke, VA, June 18, 2016–  On June 15, Angels of Assisi transferred in 38 cats and kittens from area shelters, many of them rural. Two days ago, the cats began testing positive for pan leukopenia, a very infectious, often fatal disease, causing our shelter to be closed for at least 14 days, out of an abundance of caution to sanitize and prevent the spread of the disease. Pan leukopenia is a feline specific disease and cannot spread to humans or other species.  At this time, Angels of Assisi's adoption center plans to reopen for adoptions on Friday, July 1. In keeping with accepted shelter protocol, Angels of Assisi will be unable to accept or adopt any cats from our adoption center until the shelter reopens.

Pan leukopenia is a problem spreading through our communities, but is an easily preventable disease with yearly distemper/pan leukemia vaccine. The FVRCP or feline distemper vaccine is very effective at preventing the disease. Kittens should receive 4 vaccines every 3 weeks beginning at 8 weeks old, and yearly boosters, and adults without known vaccine history, should receive a 2 vaccine series, followed yearly vaccines. Through the end of June, Angels of Assisi is offering $10 FVRCP vaccines to help combat this community wide issue.

Angels of Assisi will also offer a walk-in cat vaccination clinic at our Community Pet Clinic on Thursday, June 23 from 6:00-8:00pm. Exam, Rabies and FVRCP vaccines, as well as microchips will be $10 at this clinic. No appointments needed.