State quarantines animal shelter; SPCA issues statement

The Fayette SPCA has been placed under quarantine because of an outbreak of several suspected infectious diseases, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

The animals could have canine parvovirus, intestinal parasites or canine infectious respiratory disease complex, said Samantha Elliott Krepps, department spokeswoman.

“These are all infectious diseases. We don’t know what it is,” she said. “No dogs can go in or out of the establishment. If a dog is sick, it will infect another dog. We have an obligation to make sure we stop the spread of what’s happening in the kennel.”

Ten dogs have died or have been euthanized at the kennel since July 29, Krepps.

Other dogs at the kennel have been given antibiotics, but they are still sick, she said.

A state veterinarian will work with employees at the kennel to teach them proper protocol to stop the spread of any disease.

“They were not separating the sick animals from the ones that were not sick,” Krepps said.

According to two notices posted on the gate to the facility on Rankin Airshaft Road in North Union, the facility is prohibited from accepting, or adopting out, any dogs because of the infectious diseases.

“This quarantine shall continue until such time as the infectious disease symptoms in dogs have resolved satisfactorily,” according to one posting, which was signed by a veterinarian and two state dog wardens.

The SPCA issued a statement, saying that it had been closed “due to some dogs with kennel cough.”

The board took action by cleaning all areas of the building and replacing ceiling tiles with hard-surface materials that are easier to clean. A new ventilation system will be installed “to further improve the welfare of the animals,” who are under the care of a local vet, the statement said.

It noted that the shelter accepts stray dogs that are sometimes ill “and this is a never-ending battle that we always address.”

The shelter noted that it is working with the state “and the situation is well under control.There is a natural course to clear the present animals of any further exposure,” the statement said.

Several individuals who are listed as board members could not be reached or failed to return phone calls seeking comment.

The quarantine was instituted less than a month after a July 16 inspection of the facility uncovered a number of deficiencies, including sick dogs, inadequate veterinary care and moldy food, according to a state kennel inspection report.

“Wardens observed several dogs that appeared lethargic, were coughing, and mucous-like substance was present in their eyes and noses,” said Renee Harding, a state dog warden, in the report.

Harding noted that the kennel was not in compliance with a requirement that dogs be examined within 72 hours of admittance to the facility. At least 15 dogs were not vaccinated for rabies for more than 10 days after they had entered the facility, according to the report.

At least one dog, according to the report, was confined to a space too small for it to stand erect.

Dog wardens who conducted the July 16 inspection found the entire facility was infested with a “centipede-type insect,” with the largest concentrations under food bins. In the report, Harding said the dog wardens found cobwebs, hair, dirt, dust, rusted bolts, a rotted wooden door frame, peeling paint and moldy food throughout the facility.

“Wardens observed moldy dog food in the primary enclosures, along with an accumulation of hair and debris,” Harding wrote in the report.

“Wardens observed old food underneath the front of primary enclosures,” Harding wrote. “The floor … was mopped by a worker while the inspection was being performed; the dog food was still under the front of the enclosures after the floor had been mopped.”

At the time of the July 16 inspection, the facility had 51 adult dogs and 14 puppies. The report did not indicate the number of cats at the facility.