MCACC: 3 dogs euthanized after Strep Zoo case; public urged to help clear kennels

PHOENIX - Maricopa County Animal Care and Control officials say four dogs are dead after one confirmed case of Strep Zoo at the East shelter

Officials say one dog that tested positive for Strep Zoo was euthanized, a second dog was also euthanized but tested negative. Test results are still pending for a third dog that was euthanized and a fourth dog that died on its own. 

More than 30 dogs showing signs of an Upper Respiratory Infection are being monitored. All animals at the East shelter will be vaccinated and all showing symptoms will be medicated. 

More changes at MCACC are as follows:

  • East shelter is not taking in more animals, and all intakes and owner surrenders will be diverted to the West shelter. 
  • Both shelter locations have free pet adoption through the weekend (excluding puppies, kittens and select dogs) but those interested in East shelter adoptions will need to be escorted by staff. 
  • Any adopted dogs being treated with medication for treatable illnesses will be sent home with medication.
  • Some animals at the West shelter are being transferred offsite to clear kennels
  • Playgroups at East shelter are shut down until further notice and all dogs are being kept 10 feet away from each other. All leashes are being sanitized after use. 

While Strep Zoo can be transferred from canine to canine, it can also be transferred to felines, and in some cases humans with suppressed immune symptoms.

MCACC's West Valley location is feeling the backlash of the outbreak at their shelter.

"Right now, what we are trying to do, is eliminate the possibility of this getting out of hand," MCACC spokesman Jose Santiago said.

The West Valley shelter is at capacity, Santiago explained. Now, MCACC is working to transfer dogs to other nearby nonprofits to make room for the influx of animals coming in.

"So now we're talking about this facility alone bringing in 100 animals a day — which is ago," he said.

The disease can worsen in stressful environments, which could be why the outbreak occurred in the shelter, an official explained.

Symptoms of “Strep Zoo” include:

  • Coughing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Vomiting
  • Labored breathing
  • Coughing blood 
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