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Washington Animal Rescue League: Shelter Challenge Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Grant funding helped the League address and contain an outbreak of ringworm, a highly contagious fungus, which affected 10 – 15 cats in our care in July earlier this year. We purchased supplies to disinfect the shelter and provide treatment to the impacted animals in our Medical Center, all with minimal impact on adoptions. Supplies included disinfectant, gloves, toys, bedding, oral medication, topical lime sulfur dipping treatment, cultures, and other medical and quarantine supplies.

Even one case of ringworm presents a number of challenges in a shelter environment, and many shelters are unable to treat sick cats and kittens. With grant funding, the League established a set of strict cleaning protocols, designated quarantine space, disinfected the shelter, and provided medical treatment to the impacted animals, which included an oral medication and weekly lime-sulfur dips.Even though all of the cats displaying symptoms were isolated, we also cautiously considered the rest of our cat population in the community shelter areas to be possible carriers. We worked with adoptions staff to communicate with the public about ringworm precautions and discussed how it can affect adoptive families. Because of this our strict cleaning protocols and careful communication, dozens of healthy cats in our care were able to be adopted.

How many pets did this grant help?

10 - 15

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

One kitten in our care, Little Night Music, was treated for ringworm in quarantine for almost 8 weeks. One of the most challenging aspects of treatment is making sure that the animals in quarantine get enough socialization and positive interactions. Because the disease is so contagious, cats with ringworm can’t be kept in community settings or allowed to walk on the floor. Staff and volunteers paid special attention and made sure to spend time handling and loving Little Night Music and the other cats and kittens while in treatment. After several long weeks, the animals completed treatment and when they no longer tested positive for ringworm or exhibited symptoms of the condition, the cats and kittens were made available for adoption. On August 24, 2013, Little Night Music (now Toby) was adopted into a loving forever home at 4 months of age. “Toby is a very curious and energetic kitten who follows me around like a little puppy dog,” wrote Judy, his new adopter.

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