Dogs currently in the shelter population are being vaccinated for the H3N2 strain of the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). All new dogs six weeks of age or older will be vaccinated immediately after arrival at the shelter, the Animal Foundation said.
Dogs that remain at the shelter for longer than two weeks will receive booster vaccines. Additionally, the shelter’s Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic will offer CIV vaccines and boosters the public on a first-come, first-serve basis during the week from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekends. The cost is $20 for both doses, officials said in a release.
According to The Animal Foundation, the H3N2 strain of CIV is highly contagious and can be spread through direct contact with an infected dog or infected items. Dog owners should be on the lookout for CIV symptoms including, coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge. Dogs can be contagious before symptoms, and up to four weeks after recovery.
“While we have not seen any occurrences of CIV in our shelter as of yet, we want to be as prepared as possible to manage CIV in our community,” Ken Sieranski, Chief Veterinarian for The Animal Foundation, said in a statement.
In addition to vaccinations, The Animal Foundation will ask customers to not to bring their coughing dogs into the building, and to instead call staff members for assistance.
“The more dogs that are vaccinated in our community, the less opportunity there will be for spread from dog to dog,” Sieranski said. “Working together, I am confident we can be successful in managing this concern.”