According to an April 11 report by Atlanta Journal Online, the Gwinnett County (Georgia) Animal Shelter shut down this past week due to unknown dog illness after one dog died and another 19 were being treated after “getting very ill, very rapidly.”
The shelter was closed Friday for a 10 day quarantine, and the University of Georgia Veterinary collage has been contacted to help learn what made the dogs sick. The testing will take several days.
Meanwhile, a temporary shelter has been set up, and officials are calling people who either adopted or reclaimed approximately 130 dogs over the past two weeks.
A veterinarian has prescribed the antibiotic Doxycycline to the 150 dogs in the shelter, and had to contact area veterinarians to get ahold of enough doses to treat the dogs for 10 days.
The public has done a great job at spreading the word using social media. A Facebook: Helping Animals at the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter community page is keeping Gwinnett County residents up to date with their needs.
More information on the Lawrenceville quarantine is available at the Gwinnett County Government website, issuing the following statement
“No animals will be allowed into the shelter and nothing will be allowed to leave. As of April 10, 2015 at 2pm, the shelter was closed to the public and will remain this way until further notice. Temporary shelter is being set up at an alternate location for the continuation of services provided by dispatched Animal Control Officers.
The shelter is busy contacting every adopter, owner reclaim and every rescue that has taken an animal in the last two weeks. These people will be asked to keep their dogs separated from all their other dogs in the home. If their newly adopted dog or reclaimed dog begins to show any of the symptoms mentioned above, the director recommends that the owner take it to the veterinarian immediately.”
This was a voluntary quarantine (closure) decided on by the Animal Control director, and is the first quarantine since the shelter shut down seven years ago due to a parvo outbreak.
An update was posted Saturday stating
“After consulting with the Georgia Department of Agriculture and numerous veterinarians, Director Moore decided to voluntarily close the shelter until a diagnosis of the sickness could be found. This was not a forced closure, but an attempt to contain the sickness and treat it before it was allowed to spread further. We have decided that we are going to be proactive as this is spreading fast with new animals showing symptoms. Every dog here as of this morning is starting treatment with Doxycycline per our vets in until we get a confirmed diagnosis which will be late Monday at the earliest. Until a determination can be made as to what this sickness is the shelter will remain closed.”
The illness only affects dogs, and all cats were to be removed from the shelter by rescue groups on Saturday.
Anyone needing further assistance is asked to email the shelter at email@example.com. This email will be monitored over the weekend by Gwinnett shelter staff.
An Amazon Wish List is available here for people outside the area who wish to donate.
One media reference states the shelter has enough Doxy to complete the 10-day treatment of the 150 dogs. Another states more of the drug is needed. It must come from a licensed veterinary practice, and not from an individual. If you own a vet practice and can spare any of the Doxy, please contact the shelter at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Doxycycline” in the subject line. The shelter will be able to provide prescriptions and pay for the drug with a VISA card.