Mar 25, 2024 - News

Maricopa County animal shelter discovers contagious Strep zoo case

Illustration of a dog collar with a metal pendant in the shape of an emergency symbol with an exclamation point.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Maricopa County Animal Care & Control is taking stray pets only on an emergency basis this week after it discovered a case of the deadly and contagious Strep zoo.

Why it matters: There is no vaccine to prevent Strep zoo and it's harder to treat than other common upper respiratory infections in animals, per the county.

Driving the news: A 3-year-old dog died in its kennel at the county's west shelter last week and a postmortem test found it had the disease.

  • Staff is currently deep cleaning all kennel wings where the dog was housed.
  • All dogs at the west shelter will receive preventive antibiotics, which provide good protection from the disease, chief animal medical officer Samantha Thurman said in a statement.

State of play: Until the cleaning is complete, the county will accept only dogs that are unsafe around people. It hopes to resume normal operations by Friday.

  • For now, Maricopa County is urging people who find stray dogs to keep them in their homes or find another place for them.

Zoom in: People who have adopted dogs from the west shelter since March 9 are encouraged to monitor their pets' behaviors and see a vet if they appear ill. The county will provide antibiotics if necessary.

  • The shelter will continue adopting out dogs who have received antibiotics.

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