Drs. Wagner and Hurley Publish Pair of Studies of the Effects of Housing on Shelter Cat Health, Well-Being, and Adoption

Two major studies co-authored by the Koret Shelter Medicine Program’s Drs. Denae Wagner and Kate Hurley, along with Dr. Jenny Stavisky from the University of Nottingham, were published today by The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (JFMS).

Shelter housing for cats 1: Principles of design for health, welfare and rehoming, lays out the current state of scientific knowledge about the challenges of sheltering cats and the most effective responses to those challenges. The article will be of interest to anyone who designs or works in facilities that provide any kind of temporary housing for felines. The authors argue that, Read more…

Portal It Forward Initiative Aims to Spread Benefits of Portals to Shelters Everywhere

Update: We received requests for more than double the number of portals we had, so we turned to the animal-loving community to help us make up the difference. Watch this video to see Dr. Kate Hurley announce the winners of the contest!

You can also watch the video on YouTube.

Dr. Kate Hurley displaying a portalDr. Kate Hurley likes to think big. She knows that portalized double-compartment housing makes shelter animals happier and healthier while making their care easier for shelter staff. So she asks, How can we make it so every shelter in the world could offer portalized cages to the animals in their care?

The answer: the Portal Pay It Forward Fund, and the Portal It Forward campaign. Using the money from her Maddie’s Hero Award, Dr. Hurley will purchase up to 30 portals for each of ten shelters chosen by lottery in March, 2018. Read more…

KSMP Verifies Humane Society Silicon Valley as First-Ever Model Shelter

A couple of years ago, Dr. Cristie Kamiya, Chief of Shelter Medicine at Humane Society Silicon Valley and Koret Shelter Medicine Program alumna, had an ambitious idea: meet all 543 “must, should, and ideal” guidelines in the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ 2010 “Guidelines to Standards of Care in Animal Shelters” white paper.

In order to achieve that goal, HSSV would have to meet all minimum standards of humane care, match all strong recommendations, and implement all the best practices set forth in the Guidelines. KSMP Program Director, Dr. Kate Hurley, one of 14 co-authors of the ASV’s Guidelines, led a marathon two-day KSMP team effort to verify HSSV’s implementation in November, 2017. The determination: HSSV is the world’s first “Model Shelter” based on the Guidelines. Today, teams at HSSV and the KSMP announced the achievement at a joyous celebration. Read more…

KSMP Drs. Hurley and Wagner Co-author 9-Shelter Feline URI Study

Koret Shelter Medicine Program Shelter Veterinarians, Dr. Denae Wagner and Dr. Kate Hurley joined Dr. Philip Kass this month in publishing a study looking at variation in risk of feline Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) in nine North American animal shelters. The study looked at monthly incidence of URI in the shelters during the period of August 2008 – July 2009.

The key finding: although periodic introduction of pathogens into shelter populations may be inevitable, disease resulting from those pathogens is not. The study identifies modifiable environmental and group health factors linked to risk for URI.

Housing and care of cats, particularly during their first week of stay in an animal shelter environment, significantly affects the rate of upper respiratory infection.

Shelters can take immediate practical action based on the results of this study: provision of housing that offers adequate space and does not require removing the cat for daily cleaning and care (double-compartment cage housing or housing that allows caretakers to enter the housing unit) will likely help reduce feline URI. 

Shelter Monthly Feline URI Rate, Aug  2008-July 2009

Dr. Kass, DVM, MPVM is a Professor of Analytic Epidemiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine and School of Medicine at UC Davis and has obtained degrees including M.S. in Statistics, and Ph.D. in Comparative Pathology (Epidemiology) .

Dr. Hurley, DVM, MPVM is the Director of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program and co-founder of the Million Cat Challenge. Dr. Wagner, DVM, MPVM is Assistant Director of the KSMP and chief developer/evangelizer of the cat cage portal.

Read the Study

Wagner DC, Kass PH, Hurley KF (2018) Cage size, movement in and out of housing during daily care, and other environmental and population health risk factors for feline upper respiratory disease in nine North American animal shelters. PLoS ONE 13(1): e0190140.

KSMP Veterinarians Receive Animal Welfare Innovation and Leadership Award

Cindy, Kate, and Denae celebrate their CFHS AwardDoctors Kate Hurley, Cindy Karsten, and Denae Wagner of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program have received the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies’ Animal Welfare Innovation and Leadership Award for their “outstanding leadership in the creation of a program that is revolutionizing the cat overpopulation crisis and saving millions of lives – Capacity For Care (C4C).” They received the award at the opening ceremony of the 2016 CFHS National Animal Welfare Conference. Read more…

Edmonton Humane Society takes part in challenge to save one million cats

Kittens in a portalized cage

The Million Cat Challenge, a joint project of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program and the University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, launched the shelter-based campaign in 2014 to save cats all over North America, with Edmonton being the first shelter in Western Canada to take part. The goal is to reduce euthanasia and ensure humane care for shelter cats.

Read the full story from the Edmonton Journal.

Canine Influenza Virus (H3N2) Outbreak (2015)

Puppy with influenza

A recent outbreak of canine influenza virus (CIV) in the Chicago area has been determined to be due to an H3N2 strain from Asia. This CIV strain had not been previously detected in North America. Below is a list of resources for veterinary clinics and the public, including virus description, diagnostics, management, and recommendations for clients. Read more…