SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Local animal lovers answered the call Sunday to foster or adopt dozens of dogs.
The dogs were in danger of getting sick after another dog at the Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento became infected with a contagious virus.
More than 90 dogs were able to leave the shelter and go into love-filled cars and homes.
“We have fostered before through Front Street,” foster parent Toni Okamoto told FOX40. “We actually have failed once and kept our dog.”
Okamoto is doing it again by taking in Cookies, a 9-month-old pit bull mix, but this time around with a promise.
“I have promised my husband that I will give the dog to another loving home,” Okamoto said.
Whether it’s forever or just temporary, it only took a few hours for the dogs to find a foster family.
“Rila, she’s a pit bull mix, and she is absolutely perfect,” said foster parent Hunter Chavez. “I’m pretty happy we are doing this. It might turn into a forever home.”
Front Street Animal Shelter animal care service manager Phillip Zimmerman told FOX40 that fostering the dogs was the only way to keep them safe after a dog in the shelter tested positive last week for a highly contagious bacterial infection called strep zoo.
The infection could cause bleeding in the dogs’ lungs and airways.
“We were lucky that we saw a dog declining and did some additional tests and that’s when we got the positive test. We tested over 90 dogs and we were lucky that we had no other positive cases,” Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman said getting the animals out of the shelter allows them to deep clean it, so they can return from their foster homes without risk of getting sick.
To prevent the deadly infection from spreading, the shelter will not be accepting any healthy stray dogs for at least two weeks.
“We want to get as many animals out of the shelter so we don’t put any more at risk,” Zimmerman said.
The shelter will continue to respond to reports of sick, injured and dangerous dogs by working with other local clinics and shelters to provide housing and treatment.
For those who wish to turn in a stray dog, the shelter recommends they locate the owners by talking to neighbors, hanging neighborhood posters, or posting on Facebook lost and found pet pages, Craigslist, Nextdoor or other lost pet websites.