Dog flu outbreak at Wake County Animal Center leads to closure for 35 days

Jamiese Price Image
Friday, October 6, 2023
Wake County Animal Center closing due to dog flu outbreak
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The Wake County Animal Center is closing its center in Raleigh due to a recent outbreak of canine flu

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Wake County Animal Center is closing its center in Raleigh due to a recent outbreak of dog flu.

According to the animal center, two dogs tested positive for canine influenza (dog flu) and died due to the illness. The center said 57 dogs have been diagnosed with upper respiratory infections since Sept. 15.

The number of dog flu cases has been rising, the animal center said. Veterinarians across North Carolina reported that many dogs are picking up the illness after stays at boarding or daycare facilities.

Wake County Animal Center Director and Veterinarian Jennifer Federico says adoptions will be paused during the quarantine period, and the October Pit Bull adoption special has been canceled.

She said the illness is not a shelter problem. Dogs are coming in off the streets -- bringing the influences into the facilities in Wake and Johnston Counties.

"So we have to have a hard stop," Frederico said. "And have all these animals quarantined because we don't want to bring a healthy animal in and expose them and then they get sick."

Over the next four weeks during that time, staff will take measures to separate, test, and treat the animals.

At Dix Dog Park Thursday night Roseanhela was worried.

"What can we do to protect the dogs," she said.

She's a pet parent to two Golden Retrievers, Daisy and Max. News of the recent Canine Influenza outbreak means she might have to change her routine.

"I've tried to make sure they're in a safe environment. They love it here, as you can tell. But I try to keep them in the house and take them outside for walks and things," Roseanhela said.

Adrianna Warner is looking for ways to protect her furry friend, Suki.

"I would probably look into seeing how expensive the vaccine is and see if I can give her one, especially if I'm bringing her here all the time, " said Warner.

Dr. Federico said there's a back order on the vaccine, which makes the problem worse.

Community Pet Days have also been canceled, and owners will not be able to surrender any animals during the closure.

The shelter will close Friday, Oct. 6 for at least 35 days to contain the outbreak.

FROM THE VAULT | Canine flu, signs to watch out for

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence of transmission of dog flu from animals to people. There has never been a reported case of human infection with canine influenza.

For more information visit here.