The Humane Society of Henderson County is currently closed due to an outbreak of parvovirus. 

Puppy wait in dog cage in pet shop hope to freedom

Due to the outbreak of Parvovirus The Humane Society of Henderson County (HSHC) is currently closed for two weeks. This includes owner surrenders and stray drop-offs for the next 14 days. This is for the protection of both, the animals in their care and animals not in their care.

Parvo Virus is very serious and can spread rapidly.  Here's the official statement from HSHC:

Please see urgent statement:

This is Debbie Edwards, Operations Manager, for the Humane Society of Henderson County, with some important information.

The Humane Society of Henderson County has had Parvo virus introduced into the building with animals presenting symptoms on Sunday, August 25th.
Due to this, the shelter will be closed to the public, including owner surrenders and stray drop-offs for the next 14 days for the protection of the animals currently residing inside the shelter, as well as animals in the community.
We are diligently monitoring and taking proper precautions to avoid further spreading of this highly contagious disease inside the shelter. Animal control will only be taking emergency intake. If you are interested in adopting an animal, please call to set up a time and location to meet the animal.

My job as Operations Manager is to maintain the healthiest shelter for the animals in our care. Although we have done the best we can, outside sources have introduced this to our Shelter.
It is my responsibility to make sure to limit the exposure of this disease as much as possible.

Therefore, effective immediately, the Shelter will not be intaking any dogs into the facility. The risk to the health and well-being is too great to any new dog entering and the dogs we currently have in the Shelter. We do not want to pick up strays only to have them potentially carrying parvo back to their neighborhoods once reclaimed by owners. We do not want an owner surrendering their dog to us with this parvo risk. The best way for the Shelter to help limit the exposure to the community is to close all dog areas of the Shelter to the public and not accept any new dogs into the Shelter for at least the next 14 days. I apologize for any inconvenience, but this is an animal health issue.

I would like to stress to the community the importance of getting your animals up to date on shots, especially puppies. The way to help prevent this deadly disease is getting your dog vaccinated. Our community is lucky to have five veterinarian offices located throughout the county. Give one of them a call to get your dog and all of your pets up to date on vaccines. Please do not take unvaccinated animals into areas where they can be exposed to diseases such as parvo and inadvertantly spread diseases like parvo.

Parvo is a highly contagious and deadly disease for dogs. It can be transmitted in two ways. The first is by direct contact through the nose and mouth with infected poop, which can happen when a dog sniffs or licks another dog that has been contaminated with feces or though surfaces that are contaminated. The second method of transmission is through indirect contact. The virus can survive on clothing, equipment, on human skin, and in the environment. Indirect transmission occurs when a dog comes into contact with a contaminated person, object, or environment. An infected dog can begin shedding the virus four-to-five days after exposure, which is often before the dog starts exhibiting any clinical signs of infection. The dog will continue to shed the virus while he is sick and for up to 10 days after he has recovered. This means that accurate diagnosis and quarantine are essential for the health of your dog and of other dogs, as well. Although the Humane Society takes every precaution we possibly can, parvo has been brought into our building. That is the risk of an open intake shelter and visitors coming daily into the Shelter. That is why the Shelter tests every dog under the age of 1 before they can even enter the building.

Lastly, parvo is a particularly resilient virus. It can survive indoors at room temperature for at least two months and is resistant to many commonly used cleaners and disinfectants. Outdoors, the parvovirus can survive for months, and even years, if protected from direct sunlight. That is why proper cleanup of the environment is especially important. If you suspect that you have come into contact with parvo at all, wash the affected area with household bleach, one of the few disinfectants known to kill the virus. We have already started the bleaching process at the Shelter (indoor and outdoor) and will continue until we are sure there is no further parvo risk.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. We apologize for any inconvenience but appreciate your support in our efforts to be proactive for the health and well-being of the animals in the Shelter and the animals of Henderson County.

As you can tell, parvovirus is extremely serious.  If you aren't sure what parvovirus (or parvo) is, here's what the American Veterinary  Medical Association says about Parvovirus:

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can affect all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months old are the most at risk. Dogs that are ill from canine parvovirus infection are often said to have "parvo." The virus affects dogs' gastrointestinal tracts and is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces (stool), environments, or people. The virus can also contaminate kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes, and the hands and clothing of people who handle infected dogs. It is resistant to heat, cold, humidity, and drying, and can survive in the environment for long periods of time. Even trace amounts of feces from an infected dog may harbor the virus and infect other dogs that come into the infected environment. The virus is readily transmitted from place to place on the hair or feet of dogs or via contaminated cages, shoes, or other objects.


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