Words by Lois Johnston
OLDHAM Cats Rescue has launched a heartfelt appeal for donations as they recover from an outbreak of an incurable virus which has so far killed seven kittens at their centre.
The charity, founded in 1995, has temporarily closed its doors to the public and any other rescue cats as they completely rid the property of the highly contagious virus panleukopenia.
Feline panleukopenia affects white blood cells and once contracted, it is highly contagious and can be fatal to the affected cat.
The virus struck Oldham Cats Rescue Centre earlier this summer and vets who rushed to their aide said they have not seen an outbreak as serious as this for many years but that there have been many similar cases recently.
Assistant rescue manager Davina Hanes said she and all the volunteers are devastated by the events, but the support from the public has kept them going.
She explained that as of yet, no adult cats have been affected by the disease, but they have been quarantined to make sure that does not change.
In accordance with veterinary advice, the centre can not accept strays nor arrange adoptions temporarily, and so had closed until further notice as the Correspondent went to print.
They are calling for any help and donations towards the estimated £20,000 it will take to professionally dismantle, fumigate and then deep clean the kitten room and replace all the cages that could potentially have been contaminated.
On top of that, the centre, based at Saxon Street in Middleton, has had to use almost £4,500 of funds to treat the affected kittens.
Due to the tragic events, the charity’s summer fayre has been postponed until Sunday, August 26 and will be combined with the launch of the third and final instalment of the ‘Little Jack’ book series by Davina Hanes.
The fair will run from 11am-2pm at the Jumbo Social Centre, Grimshaw Lane, Middleton, and entrance will be free, with cat donations welcome.
Alongside the book signing from author Davina Hanes, visitors will be able to enjoy refreshments, enter their rescued cat into the photo competition, browse stalls and bric-a-brac, and try their luck on a raffle and tombola to win one of the amazing prizes.
Anyone wishing to donate to the appeal can text 70070 with OCAT01 with the amount they would like to donate.
Alternatively, a Just Giving Page has been set up so you can donate online: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/samantha-fahmy12
More information about further fundraising events and the Centre can be found on their Facebook page or website: www.oldhamcats.co.uk