Pet news briefs

Maui veterinarian says cat virus tough to stop

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) – A deadly cat virus that has hit eight felines on the island since May can’t be contained, the Maui Humane Society’s top veterinarian said.

The latest case of feline panleukopenia was confirmed in a cat from populated central Maui, The Maui News reported.

Miyo Miyasaki-Kim, director of the Humane Society’s veterinary service, said the case in the highly populated area means there’s no way to stop the virus from spreading.

“It is going to change our life here at the shelter,” she said.

Miyasaki-Kim said the virus is a top problem for shelters on the U.S. mainland.

The first three confirmed cases were in an isolated area, but hopes to contain it were a long shot, she said.

The virus attacks white blood cells and can lead to death.

Animals spread it through direct contact or contact with contaminated food dishes, bedding or people who have treated infected cats.

Cats can be vaccinated to protect them from the virus and other respiratory diseases.

The Humane Society is planning two vaccination clinics this month in addition to one held last week.

The virus can remain active for as long as one year in the wild, and it can move on shoes, car tires and other surfaces.

Schumer: Let pharmacies fill pet prescriptions

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said pet owners could save millions of dollars on prescriptions for their animals if they could buy the drugs at ordinary pharmacies.

The New York Democrat said that he’s working with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut on legislation that would require veterinarians to write prescriptions to allow owners to buy the medication at a pharmacy or online.

Schumer said many owners pay too much for pet medications because veterinarians don’t provide prescriptions unless asked, and sell the drugs themselves at much higher prices than pharmacies.

He said pet owners in the U.S. spend $10 billion each year on pet medications and other health-related products.

North Texas officer adopts pit bull he spared

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – A North Texas police officer who chose not to shoot a pit bull that acted aggressively toward passers-by has adopted the dog.

Arlington police Sgt. Gary Carter saved the pooch from the city pound.

Carter on June 27 was summoned to the scene of a dog chasing residents.

But Carter and another officer took time to observe the dog’s behavior and determined that the animal was just thirsty, lost and afraid.

The officers used a protein bar to lure the pooch into the patrol car for a lift to the dog pound.

Video of the capture went viral and was viewed worldwide.

With time running out for the dog before euthanasia, Carter rescued “Jeffrey” and adopted the animal.

First order of business was to rename the dog “Chance.”