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Cat adoptions resumed by Animal Care Centers of NYC after bird flu outbreak

Cat adoptions have resumed at Animal Care Centers

Cat adoptions have resumed at Animal Care Centers of NYC facilities after a flu outbreak in the city. Above, an ASPCA volunteer at work at a Long Island City warehouse which was transformed into a safe haven for more than 400 cats who were possibly exposed to the flu virus. Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

The cat’s back in the shelter.

Animal Care Centers of NYC has resumed cat intakes and adoptions at all shelters and in mobile adoption events across the five boroughs, the Health Department announced Wednesday.

After a rare strain of avian flu was discovered in NYC’s shelter cat population, officials suspended adoptions in December, relocating cats in their care to different quarantine centers and rescue groups.

A single warehouse in Long Island became a haven for more than 500 felines, as the ACC worked to sanitize its facilities in preparation for their return.

Owners trying to surrender cats during the suspension were first counseled on alternate options and resources at mobile adoption vehicles outside the shelters. If owners were adamant about surrendering their animals, the ACC worked with its partners to take them and find them homes.

Since the outbreak of the H7N2 virus, more than half of the quarantined cats have been placed with rescue groups or shelters, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ adoption center, which received more than 100 virus-free felines, and is still working to place them all in homes.

The Health Department is investing $600,000 in ACC shelters through this summer for additional medical staff to “improve care and provide support during the springtime kitten season,” said a department statement.

The ACC has three full service shelters in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island and two admission centers in the Bronx and Queens, said a Health Department spokesman.


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