PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — TThe Animal Rescue League in East Liberty has quarantined the dogs at its shelter after an increase in cases of the canine parvovirus.

Officials say parvo is highly contagious and is “spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces.” It can often be fatal.

Having already had to euthanize several dogs, the Animal Rescue League is trying to stop the parvovirus from spreading any further.

As a result, they’ve put in place the quarantine – not accepting dogs or adopting them out. Also, crews are working to sanitize the facility.

Six dogs, including a group of puppies, were put down this week at the shelter after coming down with the often deadly parvo virus.

“They have been humanely euthanized. Due to the fatality of disease only about 20 percent of animals will make it through this disease; so, it’s better off than for them to suffer,” said Erica Scotti, of the Animal Rescue League.

The dogs at the shelter have been kept in their kennels for several days now.

Meanwhile, the medical staff is trying to contain the virus. While most dogs are vaccinated for it, there is still a risk for dogs to get parvo. That’s why the Animal Rescue League is not taking in any new dog surrenders and also are not adopting out.

“We understand that people still need to surrender their animals; unfortunately, we don’t want to risk their animals lives in bringing them into a situation where they may contract the disease,” Scotti added.

Because of the quarantine, the Western Pa. Humane Society on the North Side is taking in dog surrenders, but with more than 80 pets now at their shelter, they’re asking for people to adopt or foster a dog.

“We are certainly reaching out to the community, to Pittsburgers in general, for animal lovers everywhere to come and adopt dogs who need a good home, but also, if you’re not in the market to adopt, if perhaps you could help out by fostering,” Gretchen Fieser, of the Humane Society, said.

Barring any new cases of the virus, the Animal Rescue League is hoping to be able to take in surrenders by Nov. 1.

Animal Rescue League
Western Pa. Humane Society
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