Ontario Shelter Manages Ringworm Outbreak with Death
May 11, 2010
A shelter in Ontario, Canada is pioneering a new treatment for pets with ringworm: mass killing. But let’s back up a second and look at this dastardly skin infection in pets. There are oral medications, topical medications, a ringworm “vaccine” for cats which can be used in treatment and finally:
There have been several studies which showed that this fungal infection should eventually resolve on its own. Typically, this takes four months, a long time in a home environment for contamination to be occurring continuously. We recommend treatment for this infection rather than waiting for it to go away.
In summary, it’s a very annoying fungus to deal with and humans can contract the infection from pets. But it is highly treatable and ultimately may go away on its own, even without treatment. So under what circumstances would mass killing of shelter pets be appropriate? If you are the Ontario SPCA, the answer would be – after trying once to get rid of the problem:
Approximately 350 dogs, cats, rats and other small animals—will be put down over the next two or three days after an attempt to contain the fungal infection failed, said the society’s chief executive officer Kate MacDonald. [bold=mine]
[...]MacDonald said the shelter has been fighting the outbreak for three weeks.
If you feel inclined to give the OSPCA the benefit of the doubt, feel free. After all, maybe it was a really great “attempt” to treat the ringworm. And maybe after their failure, they reached out to the community for help but no one was willing to help. Or maybe not:
Leanne Tucker, a volunteer dog walker for nine years, said staff and volunteers were told of the mass euthanasia late Monday afternoon and asked to leave the premises.
“It’s horrible,” Tucker said. “There are people in the community who are willing to take these animals home and help them.”
So these 350 pets have been exposed to a highly treatable fungal infection and there are people in the community willing to help. But OSPCA barrels on with the killings:
On Monday night, the shelter was under lockdown as Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officers went in and out of the building and emotional volunteers waited in the parking lot.
“This is unbelievable—how can they kill all the animals,” said one distraught woman who has been volunteering at the shelter for two years.
The OSPCA called police and hired a private security firm to monitor the shelter.
Two security guards from IGI Security sat in their SUVs at the entrance of the shelter Monday night.
“We have had some individuals declare that they might try to remove the animals,” MacDonald said.
Heaven forfend somebody try and actually save these evil ringworm pets. By all means, call in the jackbooted thugs.
H/T: One Bark at a Time