York Co. SPCA euthanizes cats due to ringworm

A ringworm outbreak caused those at the York County SPCA to euthanize 36 cats, calling it the most responsible answer.

Signs now hang outside the area the cats are kept in, advising visitors that the felines are not up for adoption and reminding staff members to wear gloves and a gown.

The SPCA has been dealing with a ringworm outbreak for about a month. About 90 cats are now being quarantined and treated for the contagious fungal infection.

“If we had kept too many cats here we could not have treated them, to treat them successfully,” York County SPCA Executive Director Melissa Smith said. She added, “We feel that we made very responsible decisions, medically sound decisions based on our veterinarians and the research we have done.”

Since news of the euthanasia broke, some have been outraged. The SPCA even shut down its Facebook page because of it.

“There were threats against our shelter, people calling us terrible names, as you can imagine. A lot of personal threats against myself,” Smith said.

Some critics recommended, even offered to foster or adopt the infected cats. However the SPCA will not make those cats available.

“I think that we have to think about the next level of this…not only the cats, but the human factor of this because this is contagious to people,” Smith said.

The SPCA stands by the decision.

Two staff members also got ringworm. 

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