Disease suspends cat intakes at Salem shelter

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Salem animal shelter has temporarily suspended cat intakes because of a case of distemper.

Willamette Humane Society officials say the quarantine will likely be lifted Jan. 10. Dog intakes are unaffected.

The Statesman Journal reports officials on Thursday noticed the potentially fatal disease in a kitten that came into the shelter Dec. 22. The Merriam Webster dictionary says symptoms include diarrhea, fever, dehydration and extensive destruction of white blood cells.

Executive Director Joan Towers says in a news release that any cats at risk of exposure were placed on a two-week quarantine and officials are taking every precaution to prevent further spread of the disease.