Northern Colorado Humane Society hit with potential deadly bacterial outbreak

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UPDATE: On Dec. 14, the Humane Society of Weld County said it would resume dog adoptions and dog intakes from the public.

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — If you are looking to adopt a dog, be cautious. There is a potentially fatal bacterial outbreak at a Northern Colorado animal shelter.

“We are very compassionate because we’ve had to watch the animals die,” Elaine Hicks with the Humane Society of Weld County said.

The Humane Society of Weld county was hit with an outbreak of “Strep Zoo.” It’s a bacterial infection that’s most commonly found in horses but can spread to dogs.

“It’s a very fast acting almost fatal disease,” Hicks said.

Back in July, the Humane Society says a dog was brought in from rural Weld County by Animal Control. Hick said shortly after, three dogs tested positive for Strep Zoo.

The shelter says they thoroughly cleaned, and sanitized and started all animals on preventive medication, but then a few months later, more dogs became sick.

“In November, we’ve had I believe, seven positive tests and two of those dogs have survived,” Hicks said.

Last week they quarantined the building. All dog intakes and adoptions are currently suspended. The Humane Society said they have spent $10,000 trying eradicate this disease.

“We have cleaned all the air ducts, we’ve purchased a sanitizer we’ve consulted with CSU, we’ve consulted our shelter partners, implemented even more stringent protocols in terms of cleaning and sanitation. Since last Tuesday, we have had no more test positive,” Hicks said.

Although rare, this disease can spread to humans. The shelter says keep a close eye on your dog – if your pet starts to cough up blood bring him into vet immediately.

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