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Shelter housing Greensburg pets fights parvo

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, June 1, 2007, at 1:34 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008, at 5:15 p.m.

Pratt County Humane Society houses storm-displaced pets

The animal shelter holding dogs and cats displaced by the Greensburg tornado has been put under a quarantine because of an outbreak of parvovirus. The Pratt County Humane Society was placed under quarantine May 25 after several dogs were diagnosed with the highly contagious canine disease, Carmen Simon of the Kansas Animal Health Department said Thursday.

Parvo, a viral disease that attacks the gastrointestinal track, is transmitted through the feces of infected dogs. If untreated, it can be fatal, especially in puppies.

Symptoms of parvovirus include diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite and lethargy.

People may not adopt or pick up dogs from the Pratt County shelter while the quarantine is in effect.

People also are asked not to drop any animals off at the shelter until the quarantine is lifted on or around June 10.

About 20 dogs and 30 cats found after the May 4 Greensburg tornado are still at the Pratt shelter, Simon said.

Seven of the dogs have been claimed, but their owners are waiting to rebuild or are looking for a place to keep them, she said.

Starting June 15, dogs and cats that have not been claimed will be offered for adoption, Simon said.

Simon said it was hard to know whether the parvovirus came from dogs displaced by the tornado or from dogs already at the shelter.

"It's one of those diseases where you really can't figure out where it came from," she said.

Parvo is common in animal shelters, but veterinarians in Pratt are working to prevent the spread of the disease and treat any dogs that may become ill, Simon said.

"They have an excellent protocol that they are working right now," Simon said. "It will be nipped in the bud in no time."

Reach Diane McCartney at 316-268-6593 or dmccartney@wichitaeagle.com.

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