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Strep Zoo Outbreak Forces Animal Shelter To Temporarily Close Its Doors

After a heartbreaking few days at the Lexington Humane Society, animal rescuers are hoping to control an outbreak of Streptococcus zooepedemicus. More commonly called Strep zoo, the deadly bacterial infection found in certain species of animal causes a sudden fever, lethargy, shallow breathing, and bloody discharges from the nose and mouth. The disease moves fast, and it’s been known to turn fatal in as little as 24 hours after first symptoms appear.

So far, three dogs at the Lexington Humane Society have died. One died from respiratory complications, one was humanely euthanized, and the third, most recent victim of the disease was one of the first cases the veterinarians responded to. Early signs of Strep zoo are often mistaken for being common kennel cough. Staff members at Lexington Humane Society didn’t hesitate to shut down the adoption center as soon as dogs started showing symptoms.

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Posted by Lexington Humane Society on Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Strep zoo is extremely contagious and spreads through airborne exposure and contact with infected surfaces and bodily fluids. Rescuers are working long hours to quarantine infected animals and prevent further spreading of the disease.  The community shelter has a 98% save rate with all their rescue animals, and they’re committed to identifying, caring, and curing all dogs suffering from the infection. So far, they’ve spent over $14,500 treating the disease. They wrote on Facebook,

“We can’t diagnose and treat homeless animals without your help. Now, more than ever, we need your support. Diagnostic tests, the treatment of sick animals, and preventative measures are expensive.”

We want our friends and supporters in the community to know how our animals are doing. Here’s a quick video of some of the dogs we have at our main Adoption Center! Stay tuned for more, we will be back tomorrow with a video of our cats and kittens!

Posted by Lexington Humane Society on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The community has come together to offer support. People are making donations and bringing food for the tired staff members working to treat animals and clean the entire facility. While three dogs lost their lives, president of the organization Susan Malcomb reports the remaining dogs diagnosed with Strep zoo are responding to treatment. Lexington Humane Society is doing everything in their power to ensure the health and well-being of all their adoptable animals. They hope to reopen their doors for dog adoptions within two weeks.

If you’d like to contribute to the shelter’s life-saving efforts, make a donation on their website.

Do you want a healthier & happier dog? Join our email list & we'll donate 1 meal to a shelter dog in need!

Written by Amber King
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