ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The St. Louis County Animal Care and Control has paused dog adoptions after canine parvovirus was found in multiple animals at the facility.
A news release from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health said the facility is isolating the animals exposed to the virus and, as an extra precaution, has suspended adoptions and "meet and greet" sessions with potential adopters.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, canine parvovirus, also known as parvo, is a highly contagious virus among dogs. Unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months old are most at risk.
The virus affects dogs' gastrointestinal tracts and is spread by dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces, environments or people. Contaminated environments can include kennel surfaces, food or water bowls, collars, leashes and the hands of people who handle sick dogs.
“The parvovirus is extraordinarily hardy, and infected dogs can shed vast numbers of viruses, making it critical to fully disinfect an area once it has been exposed to an infected dog,” Dr. Carole Baskin, the director of communicable disease control services for the Department of Public Health. “The shelter follows strict cleaning protocols daily for disease control, but we are currently utilizing additional disinfection measures both for the facility and officer transport vehicles, as recommended by our shelter veterinarian.”
The dogs that have tested positive are receiving treatment, which consists of adminstering fluids and gastric tube nutrition when needed.
Unless they find more cases in follow-up testing, the facility intends to resume meet-and-greet operations some time next week.