Animal shelter announces temporary closure after dog tests positive for deadly infection

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An animal shelter in Sacramento, California, announced a two-week closure for intakes of stray dogs after one dog at the facility tested positive for a contagious, deadly bacterial disease. On Thursday, the Front Street Animal Shelter alerted the public about the presence of Streptococcus zooepidemicus, known more commonly as strep zoo. The shelter describes the symptoms:

The bacteria cause hemorrhagic pneumonia, meaning infected dogs can start bleeding into their lungs and airways. Often, dogs in shelter environments are found deceased in their kennels before symptoms of strep zoo appear.

In an effort to control the spread of the deadly infection, the shelter will not be taking in healthy stray dogs for at least the next to weeks, and they are trying to get foster homes for the dogs who are currently at the facility. Front Street Shelter manager Phillip Zimmerman said,

“While managing the City of Stockton Animal Shelter, we also experienced a dog that tested positive for strep zoo. Limiting the number of animals in the shelter is the most important step we can take to reduce a widespread outbreak of this disease,”

People interested in fostering a shelter dog must not have other dogs in the home. Interested residents can click here to find the foster application.

Anyone who finds a dog is encouraged to use social media, Craigslist, Nextdoor, and fliers, to help reunite pets with their owners. Zimmerman said:

Allowing the dog to enter the shelter could be dangerous for that dog.”

The shelter is still testings dogs at the facility to see if any are infected with strep zoo; they will inform the public if needed.

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