RAYBURN (KDKA) — An Armstrong County animal shelter is shutting down for several days after one dog died and two puppies became sick on Monday.

The Orphans of the Storm shelter along Route 85 in Rayburn has been closed down for the next 10 days.

The shelter’s manager, Bethann Galbraith, says she received a heartbreaking call Tuesday morning.

“Someone declined an adoption because they were afraid to adopt a dog here – that it would become ill,” said Galbraith.

The caller’s concerns come after an animal died at the no-kill shelter.

“We had a stray dog brought in from the county dog officer; it was ill and died,” said Galbraith.

Veterinarian lab tests showed the cause of the dog’s death as inconclusive. The shelter immediate closed as a precaution.

“We felt it was important to take a precaution to close the shelter down for a week,” said Galbraith. “We quarantined by closing the shelter and we did extra cleaning. It’s very important to us as we don’t want anybody coming in and adopting a pet from us that would become ill. We strive very hard to adopt out healthy pets. We have about 75 to 80 dogs and about that many cats.”

All of them are, according to Galbraith, under a veterinarians care and observation since the one animal died last Friday.

“We have no sick animals here now,” she said.

This entire incident isn’t uncommon. It’s happened before, but is avoidable, according to Galbraith, if dog and cat owners do one thing.

“Have their animals vetted once a year and have their vaccinations kept up to date,” Galbraith says.

While not unusual, this precautionary act is creating problems.

“We have people waiting to adopt their dogs, and people waiting to bring dogs in to us for adoptions,” said Galbraith.

If all goes as planned at the shelter it will re-open Friday for adoptions.

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