The Pima County Animal Care Center says 100 dogs that were exposed to pneumovirus, a respiratory illness, will be isolated at the center if they cannot be placed in temporary housing.

Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star

Pima County officials are looking for short-term housing for 100 dogs that will be placed in isolation if they remain in the shelter.

The dogs were recently exposed to pneumovirus, an upper respiratory illness that can turn into pneumonia, according to a news release from the Pima County Animal Care Center.

“We have about 100 dogs who are healthy but have been housed in the same kennel area as a dog that got sick,” PACC director Kristen Auerbach said in the release. “This means these dogs are facing two to three weeks of strict isolation if we cannot find alternative housing for them.”

Anyone interested in providing a two-week home for one of the dogs should visit the shelter and tell staff that you’d like to house a dog that was exposed to pneumovirus, the release said.

Visitors will be taken into PACC’s tent area, where all the pneumovirus-exposed dogs are being kept, and select a dog to take home. To help speed the process, staff members will be able to process paperwork on the spot as soon as dogs have a temporary housing commitment, the release said.

When the two weeks are up, the dogs can be brought back to the PACC to be adopted out, according to the release.

While the shelter staff has been attempting to contain the virus to isolation areas for several months, it has been determined that the best way to contain the outbreak is to move all of the exposed dogs out of the shelter, the release said.

Eligible temporary caregivers need to have no other dogs in their home or be able to keep the exposed dog separate from their own dogs for five days, the release said.

Temporary caregivers will also need to avoid dog parks and pet stores, which are places where contagious respiratory illness can be spread, according to the release.

“We just need 100 people in our community to help and we can solve this. It’s only a two-week commitment and will mean the world to a shelter dog who otherwise faces isolation in a kennel in our tent area for the next 14 days,” Auerbach said.

For more information on housing a pneumovirus-exposed dog, community members can contact PACC’s Pet Support Center at 724-7222, or email Liz.Cardarelli@pima.gov or Samantha.Nellis@pima.gov.

The shelter is located at 4000 E. Silverbell Road and is open from noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191. Twitter:

@caitlinschmid

Public safety reporter covering police, fire, courts, and sports-related legal issues.