Arizona Daily Star
The death of a dog at the Pima Animal Care Center prompted the shelter to suspend non-emergency admissions.
On Sunday morning, a dog was found dead in his kennel, according to a statement. PACC vets are concerned the dog may have had Streptococcus equi zooepidemicus, or “Strep zoo,” and are treating all dogs in their care with antibiotics.
The disease is a highly contagious bacterial infection that is often fatal, causing severe pneumonia in dogs.
“We are taking great care to protect animals in the shelter and the community, and are beginning antibiotic prophylaxis for all animals in the shelter. If this is not a strep zoo, we plan to resume normal operations on April 28th. If so, we will likely have to extend the temporary admissions halt for 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 foster homes who 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 PACC dog on Saturday April 23rd or Sunday April 24th is asked to come to the PACC clinic during business hours to pick up a 10-day supply of antibiotics.
Zoo strep rarely infects cats, however, it is possible that people with very poorly functioning immune systems are potentially at risk of contracting the virus. It can also infect horses or cattle.
There is no vaccine and few warning signs for Zoo Strep. Signs of infection include fever, depression, vomiting, labored breathing, coughing up blood and runny nose. The onset is usually abrupt.
Anyone who needs to return a pet is urged to visit tucne.ws/paccpsc and exhaust all efforts to rehome the animal before contacting the shelter, or contacting other shelters in the area.
Emergency care will include: a pet in medical distress; an aggressive pet; any situation involving injury to a human or animal. PACC is open Monday through Friday, noon to 7 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
PACC is looking for three-day emergency foster homes to take all incoming dogs. For more information, call (520) 724-5900.