Lake County Animal Services shelter reopens after deadly parvovirus outbreak

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - The Lake County Animal Services shelter in Tavares reopened Monday under a veterinarian’s guidance after last week’s confirmed cases of parvovirus.

The shelter halted all services last week, including dog and cat adoptions, intake and the night-drop kennels.

Shelter officials said they followed all ASPCA protocols, and every nook and cranny of the shelter was being disinfected.

"The danger has passed," said Brian Sheahan, Community Safety & Compliance director.. "We've done appropriate cleaning to ensure that we've contained this particular outbreak."

The parvovirus is extremely contagious and deadly to dogs. Sixteen animals had to be euthanized after the outbreak.

Sheahan said more precautions will now be taken to keep the deadly virus out.

"One of our veterinarians suggested we wear gloves for certain protocols," he said. "Just to reduce the chance even more.  So, we've already implemented that."

Officials said all the dogs received a vaccine when they came into the shelter, but a few were already infected.

“They did not show signs until a few days later, and by that time other animals were exposed,” Sheahan said.

Animal Services has been a constant target for critics over the last year. Some animal rescue groups have complained about too many euthanizations.

Last week, officials said some puppies weren’t given deworming medicine when they came in, and they later died.

The last two directors claimed they were pressured to resign.

Animal Services has been reaching out to anyone who has adopted dogs within the past two weeks and has notified local veterinary clinics about the situation.