Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control suspends dog intake amid unknown deadly pathogen

Our local animal control is currently not accepting dogs for surrender or strays until Monday, December 18th.

The Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control (ACC) Department of Public Safety said it was due to three recent cases of Streptococcus equi zooepidemicus — often referred to as Strep Zo — that led to the deaths of those three dogs. These three cases were the first time ACC had seen this pathogen, and all local veterinarians, rescues and shelters should be aware of its presence, the shelter said.

Under the direction of the chair of Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida, Dr. Cynda Crawford, ACC does not take any dogs to the shelter for at least three days after treatment to reduce the risk to other dogs.

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The ACC said all animals so far have been quarantined and all dogs at the shelter have been given an injection or oral antibiotics that will kill the infection within three days after the final dose.

Strep Zo is a serious emerging pathogen that has occurred in massive shelter outbreaks simultaneously — for seven days — in three remote states. Outbreaks result in dogs with severe bleeding in the lungs causing sudden unexpected death within hours. The ACC tests for this pathogen whenever a dog shows respiratory symptoms.

ACC partners are stepping up if owners can’t wait to surrender their dogs by December 18.

The following shelters are:

  • Furry Friends, 100 Capital Street, Jupiter, 33458
  • Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, 3200 N Military Trail, West Palm Beach, 33409
  • Big Dog Rescue Ranch, 14444 Okeechobee Blvd., Loxahatchee Groves, 33470
  • Tri-County Animal Rescue, 1287 Boca Rio Rd., Boca Raton, 33433

PBC Animal Care & Control is located at 7100 Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach, just west of the Florida Turnpike. For more information, call (561) 233-1200 or visit it Web page.

During the holiday season, dog owners are warned to be careful when transporting their furry friends.

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