Canine Virus Hits Local Animal Shelter, Quarantine Underway

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By: Kara Duffy

Thomasville, GA- An outbreak of the highly contagious canine parvovirus has hit an animal shelter in our area.

"We had a puppy that was symptomatic, actually had been adopted last Friday, was brought back Saturday morning to one of the local veterinarians and they tested it and it tested positive for canine parvovirus," said Ed Williams, the executive director of the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society.

By that time, it was too late. The golden retriever puppy was so sick, veterinarians had no choice but to euthanize it.

Now, folks over at the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society are on a mission to make sure the virus doesn't spread to the other dogs.

"The facility is divided up into different areas," said Williams. "You can't go inside without washing your boots and washing your hands and in some areas they're donning tyvek jumpsuits and things like that."

For the next two weeks, no dogs are allowed to enter or leave the shelter.

However, Williams says having to turn dogs away raises another potential problem. On Monday night he says, a woman tied a Rottweiler to a pole outside the building and left it for employees to find.

Williams is asking the public to never abandon an animal.

"There are other shelters and rescue groups in the area," he said. "You have Moultrie, Monticello I think has a shelter as well. There are some rescue groups in the area; I know there's one over in Cairo."

Williams says the best way to protect dogs against the virus is through vaccinations. He says the virus is spread dog to dog through exposure to contaminated feces and that puppies are most susceptible to the virus.

At this time, no other dogs housed at the shelter have shown any symptoms of the virus.