Unknown illness forces Fairfax County animal shelter to turn awa - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Unknown illness forces Fairfax County animal shelter to turn away dogs

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FAIRFAX, Va. -

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is temporally turning away dogs in fear of spreading an unknown virus.

Shelter staff said about 12 dogs have shown signs of an unspecified upper respiratory illness with one case of fatal pneumonia.

Test results confirming the illness will not be available until Tuesday or Wednesday, but staff is concerned that the source of the respiratory infection could be a virus known as Canine Influenza.

They are currently working with veterinarians on a treatment program and containment plan. Shelter visitors and volunteers will be asked to take special measures to prevent the spread of the illness.

Sick dogs will be isolated from other dogs while they undergo treatment. Healthy dogs will be adopted out. Adopters will be given special instructions to seek immediate veterinary care if symptoms emerge. The shelter staff is working to find temporary foster homes for dogs that are healthy or recovering.

Canine flu will not cause illness in humans and it cannot be transmitted from dogs to humans. However, humans can carry the virus on their hands and clothes, which can then potentially be transmitted to a personal pet. Dogs are most likely to contract this illness, but cats may become infected as well.

People with no other pets who would like to foster a healthy or recovering dog until this sickness passes can call the shelter at 703-324-0208.


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