Manatee animal shelter to reopen Saturday after parvo scare

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MANATEE COUNTY-- The Manatee County Animal Shelter in Palmetto will reopen for adoptions this Saturday morning, after a parvo scare at the facility.

Throughout the week, four dogs became infected with the contagious and potentially fatal virus. Unfortunately, those animals had to be put down.

"We wanted to be cautious of the fact that we didn't want to spread it to any of the other dogs in the facility," said Animal Services Chief, Chris Weiskopf.

Dogs are infected with parvo through contact with feces. Puppies are especially prone to the virus. At animal shelters, it can spread like wildfire. Heavy duty cleaning is necessary to kill and prevent it.

"Top to bottom, two times over, our staff has cleaned every floor, every kennel wall, and every kennel floor with a bleach diluted solution," said Weiskopf.

Each dog that enters the facility is given vaccines to prevent parvo, but it's not 100% fail-safe says Weiskopf.

"The vaccine is like the influenza vaccine. Just because you get a vaccine, doesn't mean you won't come down with it," said Weiskopf.

The shelter will reopen for adoptions at 10am Saturday. The facility currently houses 93 dogs and a number of cats. In the meantime, the adoption facility in Downtown Bradenton remains open.