By Chris Temelkos
A contagious ringworm outbreak in the OSPCA’s Newmarket shelter has forced two OSPCA veterinarians to sentence approximately 350 dogs, cats, rats and other small animals to death, over the next few weeks. The horrible news comes only days after a failed attempt to contain the fungal infection.
The societies CEO, Kate MacDonald confirmed that shelter manager, Denise Stephenson was fired 10 days prior, due to protocols falling apart. The Proper protocol could have prevented the outbreak from reaching such proportions and saved the lives of hundreds of animals.
Joanna Coote, a Toronto veterinarian says animals afflicted with ringworm are usually not euthanized unless they have other illnesses or complications, healthy animals can recover over a long period of time. The fungal infection can cause small patches of hair loss, redness, discoloration and is very itchy, causing the animal to possibly break their skin from too much scratching. Many volunteers and citizens are horrified by the decision and feel that more should be done to save the animals.
Without proper protocols, better decision making and passionate, hard-working management, shelters across the country will continue to get rid of the problem quickly, costing animals their precious lives, something they vowed to save.