Two dogs at the Burke County Animal Services shelter had to be euthanized this week due to disease.
Kaitlin Settlemyre, director of Burke County Animal Services, said the shelter staff noticed a dog on Oct. 26 exhibiting signs of parvovirus. The staff tested the dog, which had been at the shelter roughly three weeks, and he came up positive for parvo, she said.
She said the shelter deep-cleaned and sanitized the shelter and its residents and watched to see whether any other dogs exhibited any signs of the disease, Settlemyre said.
On Thursday, Settlemyre said another dog exhibited signs of the disease. Again, that dog was tested and the result was positive, she said.
Settlemyre said both dogs were euthanized due to the disease. She said parvo virus is a contagious disease and that animals with the virus can’t be kept in the shelter to expose others.
At that point, everything was deep cleaned and sanitized again on Thursday, she said.
Settlemyre said any dog that was in the general area and came into contact with the two sick dogs was tested. No other dogs have tested positive for the virus, and everybody else seems healthy and happy, she said.
The shelter, which had 26 dogs as of Thursday, is not under quarantine, Settlemyre said.
Settlemyre said ideally, the shelter would have one dog per kennel to strictly monitor an outbreak.
She said the staff is working with rescues to move dogs currently in the shelter to help limit the overcrowding because that will help them be able to clean it better.
Animal services is seeking foster homes for any new dogs that come to the shelter to limit their exposure to the disease, Settlemyre said.
Potential foster families can call the shelter at 828-438-5465. The shelter will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. The shelter is closed on Mondays, Settlemyre said.
The plan is to monitor the animals, and if they can go 10 days without a dog showing symptoms, they will know they’re in the clear and will be able to go back to normal operations, Settlemyre said. Parvovirus is not an uncommon disease in shelter settings, and all possible precautions have been and are being taken, said a release from Burke County.
Sharon McBrayer can be reached at email@example.com or at 828-432-8946.