Dog adopted from Saving Grace infected with Parvovirus

Dog adopted from Saving Grace infected with Parvovirus

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Last week, we warned you of an outbreak of Parvovirus, or Parvo, hitting dogs all across Douglas County. Now, an animal adopted out from the shelter had to be put down due to contracting the disease.

A dog and her four puppies were brought into Saving Grace on Halloween, the mother having had almost no vaccine history, and the puppies hadn't received any of their shots.

As soon as they were brought to Saving Grace, they were given several shots, including Parvo vaccine. Unfortunately, it was too late.

Officials at Saving Grace say that it takes 7-14 days for the vaccine to work, and the puppies were already at a disadvantage, since their mom wasn't vaccinated.

All four puppies were adopted, and two of them soon started showing symptoms.

It isn't clear where the dogs caught Parvo, but officials at Saving Grace say it could have been their shelter. "They could have picked it up here," said adoption center director Michelle Hengel. "As well as we disinfect, again, as I said, this old shelter is really at a losing battle sometimes."

Saving Grace disinfects the dog kennels every day, and puppies aren't allowed outside for fear of Parvo contamination.

Hengel says staff works to keep everything clean, but that's not always a realistic expectation in a shelter. "There is always a risk of Parvo in a shelter setting, especially because the majority of our dogs that come in have had minimal, if any, vaccine history," said Hengel.

Patricia Deese, who adopted Shadow, one of the puppies, on Monday, said it was fine until the next day when he began to show symptoms of Parvo. She immediately took him to her veterinarian, who told her Shadow had the disease.

The dog was too weak to fight the virus and was put to sleep Wednesday.

Deese says that it was heartbreaking, but she's most concerned about the animals still at Saving Grace. "I'm sure they do everything they can for the animals. I know they're there to help and everything. I've heard of people getting dogs and cats from Saving Grace, and there's nothing wrong with the animals, they're in perfect health and everything. I'm just really concerned about this Parvo outbreak."

Deese said she doesn't blame the shelter for Shadow's death, she just wishes she had known he was sick earlier, so she could have done something to help him.