A parvovirus outbreak has forced the city’s animal services to temporarily stop the dog adoption program.
In a news release issued Monday afternoon, the City of Thunder Bay confirms that two dogs have been infected with the virus. Those two dogs are now being treated at a local veterinary hospital.
While parvovirus does not affect humans, it is highly contagious among dogs.
Local rescue groups have been contacted to help the city’s animal services remove six dogs that have not been vaccinated against the virus. Meanwhile, six healthy dogs that have been vaccinated remain at the city’s facility.
“You don’t need to have direct contact between dogs for the virus to spread,” said Jody Kondrat, supervisor of animal services. “It is easily transmitted by ‘fomites’ such as hands, clothing and shoes of anyone who comes in contact with the virus.
“We are taking every precaution to control the outbreak and once it is resolved and we can be sure the animals are healthy, we will re-open adoptions.”
The centre believes the virus was introduced when it took in a young, sick dog in February.
All stray dogs will be temporarily boarded at Tripaway Boarding Kennel until the outbreak has been resolved.
Parvo is spread through the feces and vomit of infected dogs.
The virus is highly resistant and is able to survive in extreme heat and sub-zero conditions for several months. Officials with Animal Services is using this outbreak to remind pet owners to vaccinate their animals against parvovirus and other diseases.