The Atlanta Humane Society is one of the oldest animal rescue groups in the US. You would think that with all of the time, money, and energy that they have put into rescue that they would know what proper procedure and policy is. Apparently not. Anyone running a shelter or rescue will tell you that you run the risk of bringing in a dog with Parvo because the animals brought to the facility were never properly vaccinated and have therefore picked up this highly contagious disease. EVERY SINGLE positive Parvo result MUST be reported to the state so that they can monitor outbreaks and be on alert for pockets of the disease so they can warn the public and if necessary close down a facility in order to completely sterilize it and start over.
While to some not reporting Parvo might seem like it is a small issue with the Atlanta Humane Society the truth is that it effects the entire community and surrounding communities. For example someone searches online for a new dog and finds what they believe is the perfect pet at the AHS. They meet the dog and after filling out paperwork bring it home. These nice people live in the next county over and have now brought a sick parvo positive dog into the neighborhood. The new owners before realizing the dog is so sick takes the dog for a walk around the neighborhood. You have an older dog that never leaves the neighborhood and the veterinarian feels that vaccinations at 12 or 13 years old is not the right option for your dog. But now your dog steps into your front yard where the nice people that adopted the new puppy went by and the disease was spread to your yard from the sick puppy or even the bottom of their shoes.
The puppy a day or two after adoption starts to show signs of sickness and so the nice people brig their new dog to the vet who gives them the horrible news PARVO. It’s too late for the adopted dog it’s too sick and even hundreds or thousands of dollars in medical attention is not certain to see the dog on the mend. If the Shelter where the dog was adopted from took responsibility for the sick animals treatment could have been started early on in the disease and there would have been all hope that the dog or dogs could have been saved.
But the shelter didn’t do the right thing pushing the dogs out the door as soon as they come in and not telling the adoptive families to keep the dog in quarantine (with instructions on how that works) for 7 – 14 days because they think that if they tell people the dog could potentially be sick people will not adopt. Yet they put the entire community and beyond in danger when no instructions are given and you are told the dog is perfectly healthy and ready for its new life.
Back to your neighborhood the 12 year old dog died because its immune system was too weak to help fend off the disease even with medical intervention at an early stage. Plus the sweet couple from a few blocks over who walk the neighborhood every night after dinner for exercise picked up Parvo Disease on their shoes and brought it into their house where they had a litter of new born puppies. The puppies are sick and fighting for their lives and never even came in contact with the sick animal. Parvo is that contagious and any outbreak or case needs to be reported to authorities so they can keep track of it.
Why then did / does the Atlanta Humane Society think that their lack or reporting or poor reporting of the disease was ok? Sending out sick or potentially sick animals without alerting the new owners to the truth is plain wrong and negligent. Plus they themselves take their adoptable puppies and dogs out into the community to try and get them more exposure which means even more dogs and their owners come into contact with these animals that they think are healthy and received all of their vaccinations.
I-Team: Disease Outbreaks at Humane Society?: MyFoxATLANTA.com
Felissa Elfenbein is the author and creator of Two Little Cavaliers. She loves to travel and so do her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Davinia and Indiana. We have lived in NYC, Florida, Georgia, Berlin, Germany, & Hong Kong.
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