TAMPA — After a nearly two-week hiatus, Hillsborough County Animal Services will again offer dogs for adoptions beginning Saturday.
Animal control officials say a flu-like virus -- known as the pneumovirus -- that began affecting dogs at the shelter two weeks ago has been brought under control. The quarantine will be lifted in phases and more dogs will be available for adoption in about 10 days, animal services said.
People wanting to “surrender” their dog at the shelter should wait another two weeks when the shelter should return to normal operations, animal services said.
The virus didn’t originate at the shelter, located at 440 N. Falkenburg Road, Tampa. It was brought in by a sick or infected animal, said Cynda Crawford, a shelter medicine expert from the University of Florida.
Animal Services Director Ian Hallett put the quarantine in place to prevent the virus from spreading outside the shelter. No animals at the shelter died from the virus, animal services said.
The virus, which was diagnosed by two shelter staff veterinarians, spreads quickly through exposed dogs. It causes coughing and nasal discharge, animal services said. The virus can cause pneumonia, although dogs usually recover in two weeks at most, animal services said.
Animal Services is offering dogs and cats for adoption at the reduced rate of $20, which includes checkup, microchip, vaccinations, rabies tag, spaying and neutering.
Animal services is open each day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call animal services at (813) 744-5660 or visit the website at www.HillsboroughCounty.org/AnimalServices.