A New York City animal shelter that serves all five boroughs is sending out a warning after there has been an uptick in cases of dogs with pneumonia at one of its locations.
Vets at the Harlem branch of the Animal Care Center of NYC are on alert after four of the dogs there were found sick with the illness, and the staff is worried about it potentially spreading. The illness can lead to death for some dogs.
"We have a number of dogs infected that have pneumonia. We have a number of dogs that have routine upper respiratory disease that we are testing to see whether or not they’re harboring this particular bacteria, and we have 4 dogs that have actually tested positive," said Dr. Robin Brennen, the senior vice president of animal health and welfare at the shelter.
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Because of the sickness, the Harlem location of ACC was forced to stop taking in dogs. The shelter is now pushing to get dogs out of the shelter and into homes, even waiving adoption fees to reduce overcrowding. It is also hosting a large dog foster orientation on Sunday.
"The best thing that we can do for these particular dogs is get them out of there into healthy air, into a less stressful environment, into a home where they can heal," Dr. Brennen said.
The bacteria poses no threat to dogs at other ACC locations, and the canines at the Harlem branch are being treated with medicine. Dr. Brennen is reaching out to the public for help to clear the shelter.
"Keeping them out of the shelter does two things: It protects them, number one, but it also helps us start to draw down on our population" she said. "This isn’t going to go away with 106 dogs remaining in our shelter. We need to get those dogs out."