Animal organizations have done a pretty good job of destigmatizing FIV-positive cats, and adopters have begun welcoming them into their families in larger numbers than could have been imagined 20 years ago. But cats who test positive for feline leukemia (FeLV) don’t fare as well in the hands of adoption groups. Is it time to re-imagine these cats, too?
Absolutely, says Steve Okino, who has worked daily with the feline leukemia cats at Austin Pets Alive! since 2012. He served as an APA! Cat Adoption Counselor and currently volunteers six days a week at APA’s FeLV Sanctuary. He challenges the common, routine practice of euthanizing FeLV cats, along with the stereotype that they’re undesirable, expensive to care for and not adoptable.
In a presentation at the 2015 American Pets Alive! No Kill Conference, he exploded the myths and misconceptions about FeLV, and explained how to give these often overlooked cats the quality of life and loving homes they deserve.