Just a handful of years ago, if an owner stopped by to surrender a cat, the staff at the SPCA Serving Erie County would find a way to accommodate them.
But a tragedy left the New York shelter exploring a new way of thinking.
“It was in August of 2009, and we were taking in every cat that we could fit,” recalls executive director Barbara Carr. “We [even] had 75 cats in our multipurpose room, a 40-by-40-foot room intended for overflow.”
After the highly contagious feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) swept through, 39 of those cats died.