Suspected Parvovirus Outbreak at Pima Animal Care Center - Tucson News Now

Suspected Parvovirus Outbreak at Pima Animal Care Center

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KOLD News 13 News Editor Marissa Pasquet and KOLD News 13 Reporter J.D. Wallace

A suspected parvovirus outbreak has officials with Pima Animal Care Center screening as many as 200 dogs for the disease.

Two dogs with parvovirus-like symptoms were found dead at the facility, according to officials with the center. Authorities say one dog passed away over the weekend and one dog died Monday.

Dogs more than 1-year-old that appear healthy remain up for adoption at half price at this time, with the warning they might have been exposed to the parvovirus disease, according to officials.

Dogs appearing sickly are being offered to rescue groups, according to officials.

On Monday afternoon Dr. Bonnie Lilley of Pima Animal Care looked over both the healthy dogs, and the ones that need some time after possible exposure to the parvovirus.

"We're really tightening down on those going out for adoption," Dr. Lilley said.  "Those that look like they're more susceptible to contracting the disease, if they're exposed to it, we're trying to ask the rescue to take those."

Pima Animal Care is trying to contain the spread of a deadly disease.

"It's only out of 60 days we've had two days where we haven't had parvo," Dr. Lilley said.

Dogs with parvo, and a litter of puppies with one parvo case, are euthanized at a rate of 20 to 30 dogs a week.

"We're really scrambling," said Maureen Hickey, a volunteer with the rescue group FAIR.  "There's so many I know will get left behind.  There's just not enough foster space."

Such reality kept her practical.

"So we're holding off on little puppies and instead we're focusing on older dogs that have better immunity, a better chance of not coming down with parvo," Hickey said.

Dr. Lilley said that such an outbreak is not unusual, even with a vaccination available.

"It's so preventable," she said.

While Pima Animal Care does not offer the vaccine, private veterinarians do.

Adoptable dogs are at half price, along with the notice that they have been in the same room as parvo.

Doctor Lilley said that in previous outbreaks like this, once they start isolating dogs like they are now, the problem clears up in about two weeks.  Up to now, doing so has been a challenge because they've had so many dogs.

KOLD News 13 will continue to follow this story and we will bring you the latest on the situation as the information becomes available.

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