Ringworm Cats and Kittens Feeling “Sporely” and Need Your Help

by Lisa Maxwell • Posted in: General

Austin Pets Alive! is seeing an unusually high number of cats and kittens entering the shelter during this time of year, coupled with a higher incidence of ringworm infection – perhaps due to the temperate fall season. Ringworm is a spore-based fungal infection similar to athlete’s foot in humans.

Ringworm is often an instant death sentence in shelters because it is contagious to humans and other animals. But since

Ringworm should not cost sweet Apple her life.

Ringworm should not cost sweet Apple her life.

the establishment of the APA! ringworm program in 2010, no ringworm cat or kitten has been killed in Austin at the municipal shelter. Instead they are transferred to APA!, which routinely treats and adopts out approximately 500 cats and kittens each year. However, because of the abnormally large influx of cats and kittens with ringworm, we are at risk of losing some now. Cats and kittens with ringworm at surrounding shelters are losing their lives already because APA!, usually able to step in and help them, but our ringworm program is over capacity with Austin’s homeless cats.

APA! is asking for the public’s help to move ringworm cats and kittens out of the shelter, and to care for those in the shelter currently:

  • Fosters are urgently needed. Training and medications to treat the fungus will be provided. An application to become a foster is here: http://bit.ly/2fSdtZZ
  • Adopters are also needed. Take them home for the holidays! APA! provides treatment and training to handle ringworm and prevent its spread.  Adoption fee for all cats/kittens three months or older, including RW cats, is just $9.95 until 12/31. Take them home for the holidays!
  • Volunteers are needed to care for the larger population of ringworm cats at the shelter. New volunteers must have attended the general orientation which is available online. http://austinpetsalive.org/volunteer
  • It costs APA! approximately $250 per cat to treat ringworm. Donations are also very helpful:http://austinpetsalive.org/donate/donate-now

Another reason to save these cats is that they are part of a study, sponsored by Maddie’s Fund(R) to better identify ringworm on intake, so that other shelters can avoid costly testing, and perhaps save more cats. Part of the reason cats are put down at other shelters is because it is too expensive to test each one. The purpose of this study is to prove that inexpensive black-light testing is just as accurate.

One of the benefits of our no kill programs is that they are saving populations of animals that were previously automatically killed, which allows for study of their conditions and may lead to advances in treatments or possibly cures.

Maddie’s Fund® is a family foundation created in 1994 by Workday® co-founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, who have endowed the Foundation with more than $300 million. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $187.8 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, shelter medicine education, and pet adoptions across the U.S. The Duffields named Maddie’s Fund after their Miniature Schnauzer Maddie, who always made them laugh and gave them much joy. Maddie was with Dave and Cheryl from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

Maddie’s Fund is the fulfillment of a promise to an inspirational dog, investing its resources to create a no-kill nation where every dog and cat is guaranteed a healthy home or habitat. #ThanksToMaddie.