San Diego Humane Society

Dog Virus Prompts San Diego Humane Society to Quarantine Animals, Limit Shelter Intake

"While most affected animals experience minor cold-like symptoms, a small number of dogs may develop pneumonia," an official said

While this pup may be sad, he does not have the virus.
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A recent uptick in a respiratory virus among shelter dogs has caused the San Diego Humane Society to quarantine affected animals and limit shelter intake until further notice, it was announced Monday.

Testing has confirmed that this condition on the rise in the shelters is canine pneumovirus.

Dozens of dogs are closer to finding a forever home after they were released by a medical facility

The shelter is currently unable to take in owner-surrendered dogs at any campus location — San Diego, El Cajon, Escondido and Oceanside — except in cases of emergency that threaten the health of the pet.

"Canine pneumovirus is a relatively new virus and causes symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and nasal discharge," said Dr. Zarah Hedge, chief medical officer for the SDHS. "While most affected animals experience minor cold- like symptoms, a small number of dogs may develop pneumonia.

"This virus often spreads through kennels because of the high number of dogs in one location," she said. "In a shelter setting, it's critical that we quarantine sick dogs for 14 days so they can rest, recover and we can prevent spread of the virus to the rest of the shelter population or the community. In order to preserve space, we are asking for the public's support to limit the number of dogs being brought to our shelters."

SDHS offered the following alternatives to help community members who are unable to keep their dogs, including:

Zoo officials say a stray dog found its way into the gorilla habitat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on Sunday, June 12, 2022.

SDHS President and CEO Gary Weitzman called on San Diegans for assistance during this outbreak.

"This is a challenging situation occurring during the busiest time of the year," Add said. "We are working to resolve this as quickly as possible, and we sincerely appreciate our community's understanding and support.

"This relatively new virus is already present in the community," Weitzman said. "Most dogs will develop only mild symptoms but if you notice cold-like symptoms in your dog at home, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to evaluate your dog and recommend an appropriate course of treatment."

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