Pasco County's Animal Services will reopen its dog shelter Tuesday after a virus outbreak stopped adoptions for almost a month.
The shelter closed its dog area in late June after four dogs were infected with parvovirus, a highly contagious virus that's transmitted through dog feces and vomit. It was slated to reopen July 9, but three more dogs tested positive for the virus. The infected dogs were euthanized.
Suzanne Salichs, assistant county administrator for public services, said no more dogs have been diagnosed with parvovirus since the last outbreak.
"We're monitoring it very closely, and everything looks good," she said.
All dogs admitted to the shelter receive the parvovirus vaccination, but dogs aren't tested for the virus unless they show symptoms. Because of the long incubation period, a dog could be infected yet asymptomatic when it arrives at the shelter.
Parvovirus symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dehydration and fever. It's common in Dobermans, Rottweilers and animals that have not been spayed or neutered.
Salichs said in an earlier interview that closing the dog adoption area for a long period of time affects the shelter because one of its main focuses is finding homes for animals. The cat area remained open to the public, as cats aren't likely to contract parvovirus.
The shelter is planning to have a community adoption event July 27 to celebrate its reopening. There will be refreshments and adoption specials.
Salichs thanked the community and its volunteers for being understanding about the shelter closing.
"It's been extremely challenging, but people have been great and we thank them," she said. "We're happy to reopen again and offer these wonderful dogs the opportunity to find forever homes."