RISPCA shelter to reopen after zoonotic illness scare


Courtesy: RISPCA

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) — After closing over the weekend due to a “triple threat of illnesses,” the R.I. Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) shelter is scheduled to reopen later this week.

The RISPCA said the discovery of zoonotic illnesses, paired with a lack of quarantine space, prompted the agency to close the shelter to the public on Saturday.

A zoonotic illness, according to the RISPCA, is an infectious disease that is transmissible between animals and humans.

The RISPCA said several dogs in the shelter were diagnosed with an infection known as Giardia and the feline quarantine unit was filled with ringworm-infected kittens.

In addition, the RISPCA said four rabbits recently seized as part of a hoarding investigation were also being quarantined after they were all diagnosed with a parasitic infection.

The closure of the shelter caused a stir among members of the public, especially since the shelter was hosting the Bissell Pet Foundation Empty the Shelters event. At the time of the closure, 20 people were already lined up outside waiting for the shelter to open.

But after reevaluating the situation with veterinary experts, the RISPCA said it has established segregation protocols for the infected dogs who were received from out-of-state transport.

Those new protocols, coupled with the medical release of the kittens and rabbits, will allow the RISPCA to reopen the shelter on Thursday.

All adoptions through the end of October that would have qualified for a subsidy during the Bissell Pet Foundation event will be processed with a $25 adoption fee.

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