Local animal shelter closed due to Parvo

Only on 10: A local animal shelter is on lockdown.

No animals or people are allowed in or out at Providence Animal Control after a dog the agency took in as for a ten day quarantine was diagnosed with a highly contagious virus.

The story begins on Tuesday afternoon when two dogs allegedly went after a local reporter.

NBC10 has learned that less than sixteen hours after the canines were quarantined, one of the two dogs was diagnosed with the deadly Parvo Virus.

According to the Supervisor at Providence Animal Control, the virus-ridden dog was so sick by the time it was diagnosed, that it had to be euthanized early Friday.

"This morning we came in and there was throw-up in the kennel. So, the dog was put outside, and the kennel was cleaned, bleached, and Parvocided. Then (a worker) noticed on the outside of the kennel that the dog had bloody, loose stool, so we immediately tested it for Parvo. And then, to be sure, we sent the dog to (another animal hospital,) and they gave the dog a second Parvo test, and it came back positive for Parvo," Scott Scofield said.

And the veteran animal control supervisor says one of the biggest problems with the dog virus Parvo, is that it's highly contagious.

"It's spread through feces and saliva. For example, if a fly falls on that feces, or saliva, and goes to the next dog, it can be carried on like that. It's very contagious. Usually when one dog has it in the pound, we usually end up with three, four, five dogs that have it," he said.

And Scofield says Parvo is not only contagious, it's also quite deadly.

"Sometimes we've had up to like eight or nine dogs that have gotten it, and it's fatal. The dogs usually die from it. And by the time you get the signs of it, it's already almost too late to do anything about it. Usually the signs are throwing up, blood in the stool, real loose, bloody stool, and the stool has a real bad smell, a terrible smell," he said.

Now, Providence Animal Control is closely monitoring the other dog from the Tuesday incident with the reporter.

When asked, "Does the other dog also have Parvo?" Scofield said, "Not at this time, but most likely, it probably will."

But dog owners should know there is a simple way to prevent Parvo.

"There is a vaccination, it's called the 'four in one shot' where it does Parvo as one of 'em, and usually it will prevent the dog from getting Parvo, or if it does get Parvo, it's treatable," Scofield said.

The Parvo Virus is so deadly to dogs that Providence Animal Control is working with the Rhode Island State Veterinarian trying to get a city ordinance requiring a Parvo vaccine in order to license your dog within the City of Providence.

Right now only a rabies shot is mandated.

If your dogs need the vaccine, there's a low cost way to provide the protection for your pet.

On June 15th the City of Providence is offering a clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and your dog can get the 'four in one' vaccine for $20.

Due to the lockdown at the Providence Animal Shelter, the exact location for the clinic has yet to be determined.

For more information please call 401 242 6040.