I just learned that the Marion County animal shelter has euthanized 43 dogs because they were exposed to parvovirus. Forty three dogs! They were all ready to be adopted, and because one infected puppy was brought to the shelter, they and the puppy were put down. Since parvovirus is very common in shelters, I did a little research and found that most shelters isolate puppies until they are found to be healthy and are vaccinated. "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing", so I am not claiming any expert credentials, but it seems to me that the Marion County shelter has over reacted to this situation. What I am finding is that parvovirus is highly contagious and should be dealt with aggressively, but killing animals who might or might not be made ill is not a good solution. Bill Worcester, the acting supervisor of the shelter said, "We've had to euthanize all of the dogs that were potentially affected, so we could get rid of the virus." Apparently a stray puppy was put into a 'common area' and the other dogs had direct contact with it. What a shame. Weren't the other adult dogs already vaccinated against the virus? How many of them would have remained healthy? Why was the puppy not isolated?
What worries me is that twenty other dogs are "being watched for signs of illness". So perhaps the killing is not over. According to an article in the Statesman's Journal, Bill Worcester said, "The shelter has changed its protocol to vaccinate dogs when they arrive and again in two weeks. Other changes include how the shelter is cleaned and how dogs are arranged in the facility. Other practices will be examined to try to contain the next potential outbreak." One would hope.