A Bartow County animal shelter is under a state quarantine for a deadly cat virus. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Shelter under quarantine after fatal cat virus outbreak

An outbreak of feline distemper has forced state officials to put a Bartow County animal shelter under quarantine.

Three cats that contracted the highly contagious virus have already been euthanized, according to Channel 2 Action News.

MORE: $5K reward offered for information on dog buried alive

Another 30 cats are being moved to a rescue shelter for evaluation, but they, too, could be euthanized if they have distemper, which is similar to parvovirus in dogs.

Symptoms begin with vomiting and diarrhea and escalate to dehydration and death. 

A DeKalb County group called Furkids Animal Rescue agreed to take 61 cats from the Bartow shelter to try to spare them from euthanasia, the news station reported. 

Deputy Director Tommy Gentry said one infected cat exposed the entire shelter to risk. 

“Right now, we can’t even pet them,” Gentry told Channel 2. “We can’t even touch them.”

In other news:

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.