3 Dogs Are Dead After Animal Shelter Closed For Highly Infectious Nature
UPDATE: Young-Williams Animal Shelter clarified the nature of a contagion that led to three dogs dying.
Only one puppy had to be euthanized after testing positive for Canine Distemper. The shelter said the disease can be acquired from improperly weakened vaccines.
The other two puppies died from natural causes as a result of being treated for the parvovirus. One other puppy is still under observation for virus.
The shelter has reopened Friday, but is keeping the puppy room closed for now.
Young-Williams Animal Center’s two locations at Bearden and Division Street were closed to the public Thursday after multiple dogs were found with a highly infectious contagion.
Four dogs at the shelter were discovered to have been exposed to the parvovirus, a life-threatening and contagious virus that typically lives in a dog’s intestinal tract and attacks rapidly dividing cells. The virus can also damage the heart muscle and respiratory system and cause lifelong cardiac problems.
Because of its highly infectious nature in a close quarters environment, shelters have to act quickly to prevent it from spreading to other animals. The shelter originally said in a release it had to euthanize three dogs and keep another in observation. It later clarified that statement, saying that only one dog was euthanized after testing positive for canine distemper and the other two died as a result of being treated for the parvovirus.
The shelter said it will stay closed and reopen Friday when they can be sure no other animals were infected. The puppy room will remain closed Friday to be doubly sure. Young-Williams said the virus was isolated in the four dogs.
“Young-Williams Animal Center takes in more than 11,000 animals per year, and with that many animals, disease is unfortunately a reality of shelter care,” Dr. Jennifer Armstrong with the shelter said. “The safety of the animals at Young-Williams Animal Center is a top priority and that is why we have very specific protocols in place to act quickly and prevent the spreading of any disease.”
The shelter reminds pet owners that they should keep their pet’s vaccinations up to date to ensure they don’t catch contagions like the parvovirus.