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Hawkins animal shelter reopens after weeklong cleanup for parvo

Jeff Bobo • Nov 9, 2017 at 9:15 AM

ROGERSVILLE — The Hawkins County Humane Society reopened Tuesday after being closed a week for cleaning and quarantine after a parvo outbreak that took the life of two dogs.

Shelter staff discovered a 10-month-old shepherd/hound mix with the disease last Tuesday, and that dog eventually died.

HCHS manager Sandy Behnke told the Times-News Wednesday that even though the dog received a parvo vaccination when it arrived at the shelter, in this case the disease was too far advanced.

That dog had been kept in an outside kennel, and the shelter was closed while that space was quarantined and cleaned.

Then on Thursday a 5-month-old dachshund in the puppy nursery was found to have parvo as well, and it died.

Behnke said that after the second case of parvo was discovered, all dogs in the shelter were quarantined.

“We’ve been scrubbing the facility since (last) Tuesday,” Behnke said. “We scrubbed it from Tuesday when we first shut down until Saturday, cleaning thoroughly every day.”

The shelter, which is open Tuesday through Saturday, reopened for business as usual Tuesday at noon. So far there have been no symptoms of parvo among the shelter’s dog population, which increased to 61 with the birth of six puppies Wednesday.

“A dog must have brought it (parvo) into the shelter, so we had to shut down, bleach everything, keep everything quarantined and watch every dog,” Behnke said. “We cleaned the shelter from top to bottom with bleach. We put out pans with bleach near every doorway to step in with our shoes so nothing transferred room-to-room from our feet. And of course we changed our gloves after every cage that we cleaned. It was a long, arduous process, and that’s why we shut our doors and weren’t able to accept any new animals last week.”

Behnke added, “I keep all of our new arrival young dogs quarantined for 10 days because when they come in we give them a shot, and that’s how long it takes for parvo to reveal itself. But you don’t know what they have when they walk through the front door, and it spreads very easy. It’s important that people vaccinate their animals. With all the strays running around, it can get into your yard and harm your dogs as easy as it can get into the animal shelter.”

Aside from 61 dogs, there are 121 cats at the shelter, most of which are up for adoption. You can learn more about adopting a pet by calling (423) 272-6538 or visiting the shelter at 5180 Highway 11-W just east of Rogersville.           

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