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Schenectady reopens animal shelter

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Schenectady reopens animal shelter

The city’s animal shelter has reopened after two weeks of quarantine prompted by a dog discovered to
Schenectady reopens animal shelter
Animal control officer Cindy Bialobzeski pets a dog at the city animal shelter in this photo from Sept. 9.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson

The city’s animal shelter has reopened after two weeks of quarantine prompted by a dog discovered to have parvo.

A second dog was also diagnosed with the highly contagious and often fatal canine disease. While the first dog recovered and has since been adopted, the second, diagnosed two days after the first, had to be put down, city police spokesman Lt. Mark McCracken said.

The disease was initially discovered early this month after an animal control officer noticed the first dog was having trouble, McCracken said. That dog was immediately taken to a veterinarian and tested positive for parvo, he explained.

The parvo diagnosis led to a complete scrub-down of the shelter, and dogs being held there at the time were quarantined. Parvo quarantines last at least 10 days after the most recent confirmed diagnosis, McCracken said. The shelter reopened Tuesday.

He stressed again each dog that arrives at the shelter without a verifiable medical history is given a distemper shot that includes a vaccine for parvo. The city also had to scrub the shelter and quarantine the animals because of another dog that had parvo, police officials said in September.

McCracken said the shelter routinely takes in strays that come into the shelter in poor shape, but each dog gets the vaccine. The city started providing the shots in September after negotiating a lower cost. Animal welfare activists had pushed for the vaccine to prevent further problems with parvo at the shelter.

Those activists have alleged inhumane conditions at the shelter, which is on the grounds of the city’s sewage treatment facility on Anthony Street, but city officials have said they have worked closely with state officials to ensure the shelter continues to pass inspections. McCracken stressed again Thursday the shelter has passed regular inspections by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets and is in full compliance with state regulations.

Dogs taken in by the city during the quarantine were housed at the Mohawk-Hudson Humane Society in Menands.

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