Blackpool cat rescue reopens three months after deadly virus outbreak killed 11 strays

A Blackpool cat sanctuary which was forced to close after a deadly parvovirus outbreak claimed the lives of many of its feline residents has finally reopened its doors.

By Wes Holmes
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 3:45 pm

Fylde Coast Cats on Newhouse Road temporarily shut down in late December after unknowingly taking in a litter of kittens infected with feline panleukopenia - or parvovirus - which spread throughout the rescue.

The virus proves to be fatal in up to 90 per cent of cases, and in total 11 cats died over the Christmas period.

Fylde Coast Cats has begun taking in strays again after a virus outbreak in December

Now, following a mass deep-clean of the entire premises, the charity is prepped to start taking in homeless and abandoned cats once more.

Owner Kim Millard said: “Everything has been stripped down and replaced.

!There’s been a lot of getting rid of literally everything a cat could ever have touched.

"Obviously, that has taken some time.

Pictures by Fylde Coast Cats

"It was soul-destroying. Fylde Coast Cats is our baby, and losing so many cats was awful.

"We’ve been able to advise and help in various ways with microchipping and neutering, but it has been tricky not being able to take cats in.”

The rescue has already taken in several new residents, including a five week old kitten called Polly, who was found starving in an alleyway off Central Drive on Thursday night.

The tiny kitten, which is currently undergoing emergency vet treatment, was severely dehydrated, covered in fleas, next to the dead body of another cat.

Pictures by Fylde Coast Cats

Kim said: "These cats were feral. We don’t think they’ve been abandoned; they were born on the streets.

“This is the reason I started Fylde Coast Cats. It all began after I found a litter of kittens in town, and taking them into a rescue I saw just how overrun they were. I fostered for Cats in Care for a while, and then decided to do things my own way.

"Every cat that comes to us is flead neutered, wormed and microchipped. If you’re going to do it, you should do it properly.”

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