Saginaw County reopens animal shelter after closing due to parvo - WNEM TV 5

Saginaw County reopens animal shelter after closing due to parvovirus

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A Mid-Michigan animal shelter is reopening its center Monday after closing to help contain the spread of an often fatal and highly contagious disease.

The Saginaw County Animal Care Center closed July 14 after a dog at the shelter was diagnosed with canine parvovirus, or parvo. 

Saginaw County Controller Robert Belleman said closing the facility was a precaution to prevent more dogs from getting sick. He said the infected dog has been separated from others at the shelter, but others could have been infected.

"I was very concerned," Belleman said. "We've got about 86 dogs in the shelter right now. So we have a very large, we're at high capacity and it couldn't come at a worse time. If it was ever to come, it's when we have  such a large population."

Meanwhile, one veterinarian said it's easy for pet owners to stop the virus from infection their four-legged loved ones.

"The most important thing is to make sure that your puppies get vaccinated," Danielle Brinker said.

Brinker has been a vet for nine years. She said the virus can wreak havoc on dogs, but if vaccinations are kept up to date then parvo should stay away.

"Start at six to eight weeks. Get vaccines every three to four week until they're 14 to 16 weeks old and then after that get the boosters. We don't see parvo in them," she said.

Brinker also wants pet owners to know the signs of a possible parvovirus infection.

"If anybody's concerned because they're little puppy is tired or has vomiting or diarrhea, or just doesn't seem like their happy puppy self, then they should go get checked out," Brinker said.

Belleman said they are keeping an eye on three other dogs who may have come in contact with the sick puppy. He said that puppy did not show signs of being sick until it was already in the main kennel.

Belleman said if all goes well, the shelter should reopen in one to two weeks.

"We're monitoring them quite frequently to make sure that they're not showing signs. If they are, we'll take them again immediately to the veterinarian to be properly treated," Belleman said.

Animals were evacuated from the center and the facility was cleaned to eliminate the virus. 

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