Pocatello shelter forced to kill cats to stop viral outbreak

The city of Pocatello says the entire population of cats at its animal shelter will be euthanized to stop the spread of an upper respiratory infection outbreak.

The Pocatello Animal Shelter says officials last month noticed a number of cats at the shelter with symptoms. Animal services director Mary Remer says the cats did not respond to about a week of treatment.

After consulting with local veterinarians and the Idaho Humane Society, officials say they determined that all the cats were infected and that it was necessary to euthanize them.

Remer says they couldn’t risk placing the cats in foster homes for fear of spreading the infection. The virus does not affect dogs.

Blood and lab tests showed the infection was being caused by the feline herpes virus and a mycoplasma infection.