Schenectady County

Glenville shelter acts to stop dog virus

The Animal Protective Foundation in Glenville has temporarily stopped taking and adopting dogs, a pr

The Animal Protective Foundation in Glenville has temporarily stopped taking and adopting dogs, a precautionary move after a surrendered dog tested positive for a deadly virus, a foundation official said.

The dog had been surrendered to the foundation Jan. 23 and was healthy until Wednesday.

Tests confirmed Thursday that it was infected with the parvo virus, a virus that prevents the dog from absorbing nutrients and causes it to become dehydrated. The dog deteriorated quickly and has since died.

The foundation responded by not accepting any new dogs and not adopting out the 26 dogs currently housed at the facility.

Cat and other animals are not affected by the virus and are available for adoption, foundation spokeswoman Marguerite Pearson said.

In the meantime, workers are scrubbing the building and watching the dogs currently housed for any sign of the disease.

“We don’t want to mess around with it,” Pearson said. “We’re stepping up our disinfection process, going through the entire place continuously until we know no other dogs are showing symptoms.”

The Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society in Latham, which normally takes only animals from Albany County, has agreed to accept dogs from Schenectady County until the dog operation at the Animal Protective Foundation is back up and running.

The foundation has also sent out letters to those adopting dogs since the sick dog’s arrival and dogs who have attended training classes at the shelter.

The letter notes that the risk of exposure was small. It also notes the shelter’s regular cleaning and vaccination protocols.

Parvo virus is something shelters regularly guard against. There is a vaccine for the disease that is recommended annually for adult dogs and every 3 or 4 weeks for young puppies.

Shelters often don’t know the vaccination history of dogs surrendered, Pearson said. That’s why every incoming dog gets the vaccination; the vaccination doesn’t take full effect for several weeks.

Pearson couldn’t remember another time when the shelter had to stop taking in dogs. One time they received a dog with the parvo virus, but they knew that and could take extra precautions.

At the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society, executive director Brad Schear said that once they heard of the problem, they reached out to the Animal Protective Foundation to offer assistance.

Parvo virus, Schear said, isn’t as common here as in other regions of the country. But it does hit. The Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society had a similar closure about four years ago, Schear said. Another closure last year was over a canine influenza fear that turned out to be a particular bad strain of kennel cough.

“We’re seeing more of it all the time,” Schear said. “The key to preventing it is in everybody vaccinating their pets.”

Pearson didn’t have an estimate of how long the situation will last, but she said she hoped it would be over soon.

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