PUPDATE: Shelter clear of parvo, reopening after 2-week closure

Jessica Fuller • Updated Mar 27, 2018 at 6:56 PM

Deemed clear of parvovirus, the Washington County/Johnson City Animal Shelter is set to reopen Wednesday with discounts on adoptions for cats and dogs.

Eight dogs came down with parvovirus, or parvo, this month, causing the shelter to close down for employees to monitor the other dogs and deep clean the entire facility. While parvo can be fatal, shelter employees caught it early enough so that each dog has recovered and is healthy and ready for adoption. 

Because dogs infected with the virus can take up to 10 days to start showing symptoms, officials decided to close the shelter for up to 10 days after the last diagnosis. The most recent confirmed case was diagnosed on March 18 with no additional cases popping up since then. 

While officials and employees were quick to get a grip on the situation, the shelter is facing some challenges from being closed for two weeks. Since parvo only affects dogs, the shelter opened for four days last week for cat adoptions, but the dog kennels remained closed so community members couldn’t potentially come in contact with and spread the virus.

“The shelter is filled up, so we need to get these animals adopted as quickly as possible,” Executive Director Cara Ledbetter said Tuesday. 

Until further notice, the shelter will be running a $35 special on all dog adoptions and a $10 special on cats that are already spayed or neutered. The discounted fees include vaccines, microchipping and spaying/neutering for dogs. 

For extra precaution, the shelter also discarded all of the dogs’ bedding and hard toys. Ledbetter said members of the community have stepped up to donate these items, but she added the shelter is still taking additional donations of bedding, toys and money for the medical bills incurred from the outbreak.

Email Jessica Fuller at jfuller@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow Jessica on Twitter @fullerjf91. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jfullerJCP.

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