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Macon animal shelter closed due to parvovirus | News

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Macon animal shelter closed due to parvovirus
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The Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare is closed for 2 weeks, after a positive test for parvo.

That's a virus that is contagious, and most times fatal for dogs.

It's not harmful to humans, but it has staff at the shelter taking some extra precautions to avoid spreading the virus.

13WMAZ's Kristen Swilley spoke with the facility's Animal Welfare Director about what caused the outbreak and what's being done to stop it.

Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting.

This is the shelter's third bout with the illness in the past year.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture last inspected the shelter July 9th of 2013, but reps have made some informal visits since. Because of this most recent Parvo case, 14 puppies had to be put down.

"Unfortunately we had to euthanize them. From there, we began to go back through our adoption records and see who could have gotten adopted out and start making those phone calls as well," said Sarah Tenon, the animal welfare director at the shelter.

Tenon says people who adopted puppies that later died from Parvo were refunded their adoption fee.
Now Tenon says Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare is focused on protecting their healthy animals.

"You kind've like go into that CSI mode where you start building your crime scene and find out where it happened and how can you stop it and isolate it," she said.

Because of the Parvo quarantine, Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare is requiring anyone who goes through these doors to put on these footies before seeing any of the animals.

Tenon says she's also made changes to the shelter's parvo protocol that include requiring staff to wear protective clothes like coveralls (or Tyvek suits), gloves and shoe covers.

But ultimately Tenon says Parvo is a problem that comes with running a shelter.

"It's just like going to the hospital and getting a staph infection. If you have a program you look at it, you see where you can improve it and you do that and you just have to keep moving," Tenon said.

The dog adoption and processing areas of the shelter are closed to the public during this time, but people can still adopt animals from the long-run area.

No new animals are being accepted.

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