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Outbreaks Force Temporary Closure of Two Chattanooga-Area Animal Shelters

Animal shelter closure illustration

Outbreaks Force Temporary Closure of Two Chattanooga-Area Animal Shelters

Parvo, a contagious virus that primarily affects dogs, has forced the temporary closure of two Chattanooga-area animal shelters. East Ridge Animal Services and the Walker County Animal Shelter have both initiated 14-day quarantines of animals in their care and launched strict cleaning protocols due to suspected outbreaks.

Suspected Parvo Outbreak at East Ridge Animal Shelter

The East Ridge Animal Shelter temporarily closed to the public and suspended adoptions on Wednesday, the 22nd of May 2024, following the appearance of symptoms in a dog believed to be infected with canine parvovirus, colloquially known as parvo. The dog, which was profoundly ill, was euthanized – a measure last resort as indicated by Josh Creel, the City’s Assistant Police Chief who supervises the animal services department.

The affected dog had been housed together with another canine at the shelter, now under vet care and is being tested for parvo. According to Creel, the closure and subsequent quarantine is standard protocol in such situations, providing an opportunity for the shelter staff to thoroughly clean and sanitize all areas, and monitor the health of the other animals.

In addition to the containment measures within the shelter, the potential for human-mediated transmission of parvo – where individuals coming into contact with infected animals can inadvertently spread the virus to other dogs – was cited as an added incentive for shutting the facility off to the public.

Walker County Animal Shelter Also Under Quarantine

About a week before the East Ridge Animal Shelter closure, on May 13, the Walker County Animal Shelter suspended activities and initiated a 14-day quarantine. This action follows a case where a puppy adopted from the shelter tested positive for parvovirus. The infected puppy, part of a litter that had received vaccination upon arrival, showed no signs of illness when neutered.

In light of the quarantine, Walker County Animal Shelter announced restrictions on puppy adoptions to allow for close monitoring, as young pups are known to be particularly susceptible to parvovirus. Meanwhile, emergency cases such as dog bites are still being handled, and adult dogs remain available for adoption.

Safeguarding Animal Welfare While Juggling Operational Concerns

While adoptions and animal intakes at East Ridge shelter are on hold, Animal Services staff remains committed to maintaining field operations, responding to dispatch calls as necessary. The quarantine period is set to lift on June 5, at East Ridge, and May 27 at Walker County, provided there is no escalation in the situation.

Both animal shelters have taken immediate and stringent measures to manage this crisis to ensure the health and well-being of the animals in their care. Vigilance and containment are the best defense against parvovirus, a severe and potentially deadly ailment in dogs, particularly puppies. During this challenging time, the commitment to animal welfare is expected to remain firm in the face of these twin parvovirus outbreaks.

Source: HERE News Network | Author: HERE News

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