KAHULUI, Maui — Hundreds of Maui residents stood in line over the weekend to get their cats vaccinated against a potentially deadly virus that reached the island late last month.
About 250 people lined up with their cats for the shots on Sunday, The Maui News reported. But only 150 felines were immunized. Others were turned away because of limited vaccine supply.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Maui offered the vaccinations against the panleukopenia virus on a first-come, first-served basis.
Pet owners sat under a tent outside the organization’s Kahului clinic. Cats held in hard-sided carriers and traps were placed on tables and separated by household.
Dozens of volunteers brought cats to a back office where a veterinarian administered vaccine shots to the cats’ back right shoulders.
Panleukopenia is a feline disease caused by a virus that destroys white blood cells. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea and dehydration. It’s exclusive to cats and can’t be spread to humans or dogs.
The virus is prevalent on the mainland but is new to Maui. The Maui Humane Society reported one confirmed case of the virus as of last week. It’s also reported three suspected cases.
Maria Glidden, the communications and events manager at the Hawaiian Humane Society in Honolulu, said no cat at the organization’s Oahu clinic has the virus. But she doesn’t know whether other cats on the island may have it.