Several other shelters across the country have seen an increase in cases of canine respiratory disease this year, so our priority is to ensure a safe and healthy environment for the dogs in our care and in our community.
“The Animal Foundation welcomes animals from all walks of life, but due to the open admissions policy, we don’t always know the history of the animals that come to the shelter,” says Hilarie Grey, CEO. “Everyone who works here is here because they love animals, so we try to make decisions as if every animal is our own.”
Seven dogs from The Animal Foundation have tested positive for the highly contagious canine pneumovirus, and test results are still pending for the remaining dogs. All dogs respond well to treatment and we monitor them closely. And according to experts, the best way to prevent the spread of the disease is to quarantine affected dogs and limit the number of dogs entering the shelter.
“Canine pneumovirus causes symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose and fever. Most affected animals show mild cold symptoms, but some dogs may develop more serious illness that can progress to pneumonia,” said Dr. Casey Miller, chief veterinarian at The Animal Foundation.
The Animal Foundation worked closely with Dr. Cynda Crawford, Fredrica Saltzman Endowed Professorship in Shelter Medicine and Clinical Associate Professor of Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program and Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DABVP a Fran Marino Endowed Distinguished Professor of Shelter Medicine. They helped us create an action plan based on recognized best practices to protect the health of the animals in our care and of the community.
“Canine pneumovirus is a highly contagious respiratory virus that spreads easily and quickly through dog populations in shelters and boarding homes. Most dogs have no pre-existing immunity to this virus and there is no vaccine, which means almost all dogs are susceptible to infection. As infected dogs in the community bring the virus to a shelter, there are very effective intervention strategies to stop transmission of the virus and prevent its release into the community,” said Dr Cynda Crawford.
Dog adoptions at The Animal Foundation are also temporarily closed, and our goal is to fully reopen as soon as possible once we know all dogs are safe and healthy. If a lost pet is currently at the shelter, owners will still be able to retrieve it. An appointment is recommended.
There is no further information at this time.