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Shelter seeks short-term homes for dogs to end pneumovirus outbreak

In order to end an ongoing outbreak, Pima Animal Care Center is asking members of the community to provide temporary homes for about 100 dogs exposed to the upper respiratory infection known as pneumovirus.

“We have about 100 dogs who are healthy, but have been housed in the same kennel area as a dog that got sick,” PACC Director of Animal Services Kristen Auerbach in a press release. “This means these dogs are facing two to three weeks of strict isolation if we cannot find alternative housing for them.”

After several months of trying to contain the virus to isolation areas, PACC officials have decided that the best way to end the outbreak is to move all of the exposed dogs out of the shelter. To do this PACC needs temporary homes and caregivers who either don't have dogs, or who can keep the exposed dogs separated from their own dogs for five days.

When caught early, dogs can fully recover with antibiotics, but dogs infected with pneumovirus can develop pneumonia and even die. And while the virus spreads easily from dog to dog, it does not spread to humans.

“We just need 100 people in our community to help and we can solve this. It’s only a two-week commitment and will mean the world to a shelter dog who otherwise faces isolation in a kennel in our tent area for the next 14 days,” Auerbach said.

There are exposed dogs of all ages and sizes, from Chihuahuas to German Shepards, so it is possible for people who want to help to choose an appropriate foster for their home.

Interested in helping? Visit PACC's shelter during business hours and let staff know you want to house a dog exposed to pneumovirus. Once you select a pet to take home, the staff will process paperwork on the spot. When the two-week period ends, caregivers can bring the dogs back to PACC where they will go up for adoption.

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One of many pneumovirus-exposed dogs in need of a foster home.

Pima County Animal Care Center

Where: 4000 N. Silverbell Rd., Tucson, Az 85745

Hours: 12-7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-5p.m.on weekends

*For more information on housing a pneumovirus exposed dog email
Liz.Cardarelli@pima.gov or Samantha.Nellis@pima.gov or call the Pet Support Center at 520-724-7222.