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Apr 10, 2018

Winn Feline Foundation

Vicki Thayer, DVM, DABVP (Feline)
Executive Director
888-963-6946, extension 702
Media Info

Steve Dale, CABC
Media Contact and Winn Board Member
Media Info

For Immediate Release

Wyckoff, NJ, April 10, 2018Winn Feline Foundation is pleased to announce three new grant awards for feline health research. PetSmart Charities®, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, provided funding for these special projects through a grant to Winn, establishing an exciting new collaboration in feline shelter medicine. Winn is awarding a total of $73,807 for studies assessing a new probiotic protecting shelter kittens from infectious diarrhea, understanding immunity for prevention of feline distemper or panleukopenia, and evaluating feline coronavirus as a cause of upper respiratory disease in shelter cats. 

Acting Winn President, Glenn Olah, DVM, DABVP (Feline) comments, “Winn Feline Foundation is excited to have this new research funding opportunity.  This occasion allows Winn to provide support for more critical studies that could deliver significant benefit to cat health. Based on the results of this special review along with Winn’s largest annual research grant funding ever, 2018 will be an amazing year for cats. We cannot thank PetSmart Charities enough for making this special review happen. Winn’s mission of advancing feline health through research and education aligns well with their mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets.”  

Grants were awarded for the following research studies:

Protecting foster kittens from infectious diarrhea with a new potential probiotic. (W18-002)
Principal Investigator: Jody Gookin, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; North Carolina State University; $25,000

Infectious diarrhea is a common cause of death in shelter kittens. This study will evaluate whether a probiotic containing specific protective bacteria will decrease the incidence of diarrhea and associated death in these kittens.

Understanding immunity to protect cats from distemper (panleukopenia). 
Principal Investigators: Profs. Vanessa Barrs and Julia Beatty; University of Sydney, Australia; $24,500

Feline distemper or parvovirus (pankeukopenia) is an often-fatal disease with recent outbreaks. This study will evaluate the natural and vaccination resistance to this disease in shelter and owned cats to enable the design of more effective prevention strategies.

Evaluating feline coronavirus as a cause of upper respiratory disease in shelter cats. (W18-007)
Principal Investigators: Gary Whittaker, PhD and Elizabeth Berliner, DVM;
Cornell University; 

This study will assess the importance of feline coronavirus as a cause of upper respiratory disease in shelter cats, and the role it plays in the development of the fatal disease, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP.)


Winn Feline Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1968 that supports studies to improve cat health. Since 1968, the Winn Feline Foundation has funded over $6.4 million in health research for cats at more than 30 partner institutionsworld-wide. For further information, go to

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