Precautions to take to keep Tampa-area dogs safe after hundreds quarantined for flu-like virus

6:15 PM, Nov 5, 2013   |    comments
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Hillsborough County, Florida-- A serious situation has developed at Hillsborough County Animal Services, and the sign on the door indicates the problem: No admissions. 

The news comes after an outbreak of a flu-like illness. More than 230 dogs quarantined after four tested positive.

UPDATE: Animal Services announces it will take in cats

"It means that the virus is here in the community because these viruses are not born in the shelter they come in from the outside," said Aniaml Services Director Ian Halett.

While the virus is not contagious to humans or cats, animal services has taken steps to confine it. During the next two weeks, the shelter will only accept sick or injured dogs, dogs that have bitten someone, and dangerous dogs.

STORY: Flu-like viruses break out in Hillsborough Animal Services

If you need to turn in your animal, try boarding it for the next two weeks or see if the Humane Society of Tampa Bay or other shelters can accommodate.

Dr. Mark Brown, chief of Staff at Central Animal Hospital says the virus is spread through contact with infected dogs, so keep your dog away from places they might be.

"If I'm a responsible pet owner and I want to take my dog down to the dog park, he's going to be vaccinated. I can't be sure these other dogs are vaccinated so I'm going to do my best to make sure I've covered as many of these diseases as I can," said Brown.

Vets say there's no way to prevent this, but animals that are properly vaccinated are going to fare much better. With that being said, make sure they've got their shots, and keep an eye on your dog. If you see any problems, get them to the vet.

Vaccinate your pet for free: The Humane Society of Tampa bay will offer a free vaccination clinic to protect animals from flu-type viruses from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 16. It will take place at Williams Park, 4362 E. Osborne Ave. in Tampa. 

Click here for more information

Recent Hillsborough County Animal Services stories:

Proposed staffing changes to Hillsborough Co. Animal Services
Dog mistakenly euthanized at HCAS
Adoption: Family accuses HCAS of adopting out sick dog
Protesters angry with Hillsborough Co. Animal Services
Parvo cases: Shelter says they are not an 'outbreak'

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