The death of a dog at Pima Animal Care Center has prompted the shelter to suspend nonemergency admissions.
On Sunday morning, a dog was found dead in its kennel, according to a news release. PACC’s veterinarians are concerned that the dog had Streptococcus equi zooepidemicus, or “Strep zoo,” and are treating all of the dogs in its care with antibiotics.
The disease is a highly contagious bacterial infection that is often fatal, causing severe pneumonia in dogs.
“We’re exercising an abundance of caution to protect the animals in the shelter and the community, and starting antibiotic prophylaxis for all animals in the shelter. If this is not strep zoo, we plan to resume normal operations on April 28. If it is, we will likely have to extend the temporary halt to admissions a few more days,” said PACC director Monica Danger.
PACC is still open for adoptions and anyone wishing to adopt or foster will be sent home with antibiotics. Adopters or fosters that have other pets are encouraged to keep their new pet separate from their other pets for at least three days.
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Anyone who adopted or fostered a dog from PACC on Saturday, April 23, or Sunday, April 24, is asked to come to PACC’s clinic during business hours to pick up a 10-day supply of antibiotics.
Strep zoo rarely infects cats. However, there is a possibility that cats with very poorly functioning immune systems could potentially be at risk for contracting the virus. It can also infect horses or livestock.
There is no vaccine and few warning signs for Strep zoo. Signs of infection include fever, depression, vomiting, labored breathing, coughing blood and discharge from the nose. The onset is typically sudden.
Anyone who needs to surrender a pet is asked to visit tucne.ws/paccpsc and exhaust all efforts to re-home the pet before contacting the shelter, or contact other area shelters.
Emergency intake will include: a pet in medical distress; an aggressive pet; any situation involving an injury to a human or animal. PACC is open Monday to Friday, noon to 7 p.m., or 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
PACC is looking for emergency three-day fosters to take any incoming dogs. For more information, call (520) 724-5900.