Ringworm Crisis: 4 Simple Ways You Can Help

by Lindsey Picard • Posted in: Adoptions, Donations, Foster, Pets Needing Homes, Ringworm, Volunteering

On the Austin Pets Alive! Ringworm Team, we’re used to fighting fungus, but the past few months have been an especially tough battle. All of our resources- manpower, space, money- were stretched to their absolute limits all winter. Due to illness outbreaks that slowed down treatment and an uptick in the number of cats diagnosed with ringworm, our population swelled to twice our normal capacity. The odds were against us, but we turned to Austin for help and you responded beyond our wildest dreams. With the help of an incredible team of volunteers, fosters, donors, and adopters, we’ve been able to not only maintain our standards of care for these cats, but also move them into foster and adoptive homes much faster than usual. By March of last year, just about 54 ringworm cats had been adopted. But this year, 119 have found their forever homes in spite of their crusty exteriors! From tiny, adorable kittens like KitKat and Kilgore, to longstay adults like quirky, talkative Trail Blazer, to shy, bonded best friends like Hula and Aquafina, families all over the city are meeting these “unadoptable” cats and falling in love. These are cats who would be euthanized as soon as they were diagnosed just 50 miles away from here, but we’ve been able to keep saving them thanks to the tireless efforts of you, our Austin community. Now we’re down to less than half of where we were at our crisis point this winter. We’ve won a vital battle in the fight to save Texas cats, but there’s a bigger war coming.

This is the start of kitten season, the busiest time of the year. This is usually the time when we have only a handful of cats- last March we had 8- before our numbers explode due to the warm weather and the thousands of kittens being born. This year we currently have 45 ringworm kitties in our care, so we’re starting with our usual maximum capacity and only going to grow from there. Additionally, the aging Ringworm Adoption Center at Town Lake is finally coming down, making way for a new building for ringworm cats, and we will be temporarily displaced just as we need space the most.

Area shelters depend on us to help them save their ringworm cats. Most have no dedicated wards or foster homes, so when they find ringworm, they look to APA! to assist. Without us, those cats and kittens will lose their lives. Every year, we’ve been able to expand our reach and save more and more cats, but this year we’re fighting just to keep the ground we’ve already won.

For the first time in years, cats near us are in danger of losing their lives for something as harmless and treatable as ringworm.

None of us can bear this, so it’s up to us to defy the odds and band together to make sure it doesn’t happen. Austin has always stepped up to help animals in need, and we know that we can put our faith in you again this year. We need adopters, fosters, volunteers, and donors who aren’t afraid of a little fungus to join us on the front lines in the fight to save Texas cats!

Can you adopt? We need forever homes that are willing to put in a little more up-front work in exchange for a lifetime of love! Our ringworm team is always available to help you feel prepared, and starting today fees will be waived for all ringworm cats and kittens all summer long!

Can you foster? We need your help to give these guys a place to crash while they heal and find their families! We have a community of ringworm fosters who would love to welcome you and answer questions on Facebook, and we’ll help you treat your kitties with lime-sulfur dip days twice a week at the APA! Ringworm Adoption Center!

Can you volunteer? We need help scooping litter boxes, washing dishes, socializing kittens, and fighting fungus! We have opportunities for everyone, and kitten snuggles galore to repay you!

Can you donate? We’ll use every penny to keep saving the lives of cats whose only crime is a little bit of crust!

We need reinforcements now, so come join the battle today! Got questions about ringworm? Contact us at email hidden; JavaScript is required to learn more!

Don’t forget to check out our Austin Pets Alive! Ringworm Adoption Center Facebook page for more updates and pictures of these amazing kitties.