RALEIGH, N.C.— The Wake County Animal Center will be closing its doors temporarily in response to a recent canine influenza outbreak that led to the deaths of two dogs in their care.
In a statement, the Wake County Animal Center will close from October 6 for 35 days to contain the outbreak and some services will be put on hold to protect the 449 animals currently in their care.
The incidence of canine influenza is surging in North Carolina, as veterinarians observe an increasing number of dogs contracting this respiratory ailment following their visits to boarding or daycare centers. The severity of the condition varies, with some pets remaining asymptomatic while others succumb to secondary infections, occasionally resulting in pneumonia and even death.
The center says the closure is a proactive measure to “ensure the health and safety of animals and the community.”
The services that will be impacted are adoptions and community pet days. The shelter will not accept surrenders of animals. Animal control will respond to emergencies, but will not pick up strays or owner surrenders. Animals involved in bite incidents will need to be quarantined in veterinary offices or private home.
Services that will continue as normal are assistance in reclaiming lost pets, euthanasia appointments for pets, phone support for rehoming your pet, and guidance/ support for reuniting stray pets with their owners.
The shelter says since September 15, approximately 57 dogs have been diagnosed with upper respiratory infections, which is “an unusually high number of cases.”
Due to the outbreak, the center has cancelled many events, including the adoption campaign to find loving homes for 57 pit bull-type dogs and one puppy currently at the shelter in honor of National Pit Bull Awareness Month.
Photo credit: Wake County Animal Center