SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento has temporarily suspended accepting stray dogs for two weeks after a dog in the shelter tested positive for a highly contagious bacterial infection this week.
The bacterial infection, Streptococcus zooepidemicus, is known commonly as strep zoo and is dangerous to dogs.
The infection can cause hemorrhagic pneumonia, which means infected dogs can bleed into their lungs and airways.
Front Street Shelter manager Phillip Zimmerman said in a statement released this week that he has seen this deadly infection in shelters before.
“While managing the City of Stockton Animal Shelter, we also experienced a dog that tested positive for strep zoo,” Zimmerman said. “Limiting the number of animals in the shelter is the most important step we can take to reduce a widespread outbreak of this disease.”
Shelter officials said, to prevent the spread to other dogs, the shelter will not be accepting any healthy stray dogs for at least two weeks and they are seeking emergency foster homes to temporarily house their healthy dogs because the shelter is at capacity.
“Reducing the number of dogs in the shelter helps stop the disease from spreading,” Zimmerman said.
Due to how contagious the disease is to other dogs, shelter officials advise that foster families who want to help shelter dogs must not have any other dogs in the home
People can sign up to be emergency foster homes by tapping or clicking here.
The shelter will continue holding dog adoptions by appointment, but they can only be adopted to homes that do not own other dogs and can be quarantined from other dogs for at least 14 days.
Shelter officials said they 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 to those animals.
For those who wish to turn in a stray dog, shelter officials recommend 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.
To learn more information about how to help a lost dog find its home, tap or click here.
“Studies suggest that 92% of stray dogs have a home – right now we need the public to help those animals get back to those homes,” Zimmerman said. “Allowing the dog to enter the shelter could be dangerous for that dog.”