Bibb animal shelter closed because of parvo cases

pramati@macon.comAugust 22, 2012 

The Bibb County animal shelter has been shut down until an inspector from the state’s Department of Agriculture looks into two cases of parvo discovered late Tuesday.

The state inspector is scheduled to be at the shelter Thursday, said county spokesman Kevin Barrere.

Barrere said Wednesday that veterinary exams confirmed two puppies that were picked up from the shelter Tuesday showed symptoms of parvo, an often-fatal virus that attacks dogs. Both puppies tested positive for the virus.

Barrere said one of the puppies was euthanized, while the other one was kept by its foster family, who took it to the vet for treatment.

Barrere said the cages that held the puppies were cleaned and sterilized, and the shelter was closed for business Wednesday. Barrere said no animals will be accepted at the shelter until it reopens, nor will visitors be allowed.

Barrere said the puppies appear to be the only animals infected at the shelter.

“None of the others animals have shown signs of parvo,” he said. “All of the other dogs in the shelter have been decontaminated, and there’s no sign (parvo has affected) any other animals.”

As of Tuesday night, the shelter housed 64 dogs and 16 cats, Barrere said. He said he isn’t aware of any shelter animals that were euthanized Wednesday.

Barrere said the shelter will remain closed until the state inspector gives the go-ahead to reopen it, meaning no animals will be accepted or adopted until further notice.

Barrere said it’s the first cases of parvo at the shelter since Bibb County took it over from Macon on July 1 that have caused the shelter to close. Bibb County Chief Administrative Officer Steve Layson, the interim shelter director, said a dog that was adopted from the shelter last month was found to have parvo after it left the shelter, but the facility wasn’t closed.

In that case, shelter staff cleaned the facility and informed the state.

“Parvo is one of those things that you have to react to an action that’s happening,” Layson said.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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