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County's animal shelter quarantined

Shelter to re-open August 16


A case of parvo has temporarily closed the Pickens County Animal Shelter after a puppy was found to be carrying the virus.

Deputy Brandi Strawn said the shelter would re-open August 16.

“I got a litter of puppies that came in and I’d had them for nine days before they even showed any symptoms,” she said. “They came in looking really healthy. They started showing symptoms and one of them passed away.”

Following testing, Strawn discovered Canine Parvo was to blame. The other puppies in the litter had to be put down, she said.

Strawn reported the incident to the Georgia Department of Agriculture whose officials requested she close the facility for 14 days, a standard procedure. Straun said puppies at her facility are kept separate from others dogs, cats and kittens and there was likely no transfer of the virus from the puppies to any other animals being held there.

“I don’t think any of my animals are at risk because of where the puppies were kept,” she said. “It’s just a safety precaution more than anything. We will monitor the animals for two weeks to make sure no one else shows any symptoms.”

Strawn said officials she spoke with at the agriculture department reported that a lot of shelters around the state are experiencing parvo outbreaks because of the heat and humidity.

“We get a lot of stray animals and these animals are piddling through whatever they can to eat. The parvovirus can lay dormant for five months. This heat is like a big Petri dish and it overwhelms these animals. They can carry the virus dormant in their bodies for 14 days.”

Canine Parvo is a contagious virus spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces, according to Wikipedia. It can be especially severe in puppies that are not protected by maternal antibodies or vaccinations. Symptoms of parvo may include diarrhea, vomiting, quick weight loss and lethargy. Strawn said dogs or puppies also stop eating and drinking water.

The mortality rate for parvo is 91 percent if untreated and, Strawn said, it could be very expensive to treat. Canine Parvo is not transferable to humans.

Until the shelter opens on August 16 no one can come in to adopt an animal and no other animals can be taken in, she said.

“I want people to understand there’s nothing bad. It’s just a safety precaution. Our animals are healthy. We make sure we adopt out healthy animals. In the summertime it’s par for the course.”

Shelter hours are Tuesday – Friday from 12-5 and Saturday from 11-3.


melissa Gillette
+3 #11 melissa Gillette 2011-08-08 15:56
Wendy if you are going to blame anyone, blame the losers who let their dogs breed over and over again and then dump the pups on the side of the road. Blame the people who do not take their pets to get their shots. Blame the people who think it would be fun to get a puppy then not take care of it. The pound is only doing what the voters asked for...pick up all of the strays and handle the problem. Parvo is running around like crazy right now and only because of a lack of responsable pet owners. If people would get their dogs their shots then this disease would be non existant. If your daughter (who I am guessing is a grown woman and can speak for herself and probably resents being called a child) adopted from the pound good for her.
+2 #12 Steve 2011-08-09 11:23
The dog apparently loved cats so much, he ate one and it's not very funny. I adopted from Pickens County Animal shelter and he's a wonderful puppy which is on his way to adult hood.
-2 #13 7thunders 2011-08-10 00:14
I have adopted animals from PAR and fostered animals for them also. I think Valarie, Ronda, and many others do a great job for Pickens County. I encourage everyone who loves animals to donate to this organization. I know for a fact that PAR test for aggressiveness and strives to stay a no kill rescue and give every animal a chance to have a good home.
+1 #14 DK 2011-08-10 09:53
@Steve - no not very funny but I did have to LOL @ that comment. Please keep in mind I am talking about PAR not the shelter. And I must admit that you never know for sure how a dog will react to a cat, maybe he did love other cats he had been around, and not just these particular ones....
Susan Catton
0 #15 Susan Catton 2011-08-10 12:33
In support of PAR...they have reached their 15 year anniversary this year as a non-profit rescue organization. They (the Volunteers) have successfully placed over 8,000 healthy dogs & cats into loving homes. Until recently, PAR has been the only source of help for the homeless, neglected, abused or unwanted animals in Pickens County. No rescue group, animal shelter or humane society can ever guarantee 100% that the pet they have been helping will never display or develop a problem once they leave their direct supervision. I think the VOLUNTEERS of PAR have done and continues to provide amazing "life saving" hope to dogs & cats throughout this county. Thank you PAR!
0 #16 SJH 2011-08-10 21:18
First, PAR has saved hundreds and hundreds of animals. No shelter or rescue is perfect but I can say both PAR and Pickens Animal Shelter are a valuable resource for Pickens County. They both have the animals best interest at heart. Why else would someone volunteer so much of their time and effort like the folks at PAR? Mistakes happen and I'm sure dogs and cats have been placed with unsuitable families but I know that was not the intentions of PAR or Pickens AS. Both of these facilities came about from a need. The need for animal control. I am a citizen of Pickens County and I find great pride in Pickens Animal Shelter and I am very proud of the accomplishments of PAR. Maybe volunteering would help someone to realize all good they do. They could use the help since they are both ran with little help and extremely small budgets for the services they offer the citizens and most of all the animals. Thanks PAR and Pickens AS for your hard work and dedication!

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