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Jacksonville city shelter stops taking dogs after virus case

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Animal Care and Protective Services
Three of the dogs that are among those up for adoption at Animal Care and Protective Services

Jacksonville's city-run shelter is refusing most new dogs for at least two weeks after pneumovirus was detected.

While just one dog has tested positive so far, another has shown mild symptoms, leading the shelter to place 130 exposed dogs under quarantine while they monitor for more cases.

Pneumovirus is a contagious respiratory virus that causes symptoms like coughing, sneezing and nasal discharge, and can lead to more serious illness like pneumonia and difficulty breathing.

There is no canine vaccine for pneumovirus, which is why Animal Care and Protective Services elected to enact a 14 day quarantine — which may be extended pending the identification of additional cases.

While the quarantine is in effect, healthy strays and owned dogs that are not considered a threat to public safety will not be admitted to the shelter. Residents who find lost dogs are asked to commit to finding their home in the meantime by posting flyers, having them scanned for microchips and reaching out via social media and neighbors.

The shelter is also requesting fosters for medium and large dogs who have not been exposed to the pneumovirus for the duration of the quarantine. Supplies and medical care will be provided until the shelter is ready to care for them again.

Recent adopters who have noticed symptoms in their new pet should email ACPS at JaxPets@coj.net.

Reporter Raymon Troncoso joined WJCT News in June of 2021 after concluding his fellowship with Report For America, where he was embedded with Capitol News Illinois covering Illinois state government with a focus on policy and equity. You can reach him at (904) 358-6319 or Rtroncoso@wjct.org and follow him on Twitter @RayTroncoso.