PACC (copy)

Pima Animal Care Center is treating all the dogs in its shelter with antibiotics after a dog was found dead in its kennel Sunday morning, April 24. 

Pima Animal Care Center is halting all non-emergency admissions and canceling all intake appointments due to a suspected case of Strep zoo, a highly contagious bacterial infection that is often fatal.

On Sunday morning, staff discovered a dog dead in its kennel and they are treating all dogs in the shelter with antibiotics, according to a PACC news release. 

PACC’s veterinarians are concerned it's the contagious disease, Streptococcus equi zooepidemicus.

PACC is still open for adoptions and anyone wishing to adopt or foster will be sent home with a course of antibiotics.

Anyone who adopted or fostered a dog on April 23 or 24 should return to PACC’s clinic during business hours to get a 10-day supply of antibiotics.

Along with halting non-emergency visits, PACC has shut down dog walking in the section of the shelter where the deceased dog was housed.

Emergency intakes will include animals in medical distress, an aggressive animal or any situation involving an injury to a person or animal.

For emergencies, the public can stop by the shelter during PACC’s business hours Monday to Friday, noon to 7 p.m., or 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

If it is determined to not be Strep zoo, PACC plans to resume normal operations on April 28.

Strep zoo is known to cause abrupt outbreaks in fatal pneumonia in shelter dogs due to the confined environment and its contagious nature. Signs of infection include fever, depression, vomiting, labored breathing, coughing blood and discharge of the nose.

There is no vaccine and few warning signs.

Strep zoo rarely infects cats. People with very poor immune systems could potentially be at risk for the virus.

PACC is seeking emergency three-day fosters to take any incoming dogs.

Jamie Verwys | 520-547-9728 


Reporter Jamie Verwys grew up in Sahuarita and graduated from the high school in 2006. She lives in Tucson and graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2018.

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