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Franklin County dog shelter combats rash of respiratory infections

 The Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center is seeing a rash of upper respiratory infections.
Matthew Rand
/
WOSU
The Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center is seeing a rash of upper respiratory infections.

Dog shelters in Central Ohio and around the country are overcapacity. The overcrowding makes it easier for disease to spread, and the Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center is seeing a rash of upper respiratory infections.

"We're dealing with some upper respiratory we've never seen before," said shelter director Kaye Persinger.

Franklin County commissioners recently approved spending $80,000 to help stamp out the infections.

“We're very, very blessed that we have commissioners that give us a budget that allow us to send all this stuff off to a lab to know what we're dealing with so that we can effectively treat it,” Persinger said.

The lab testing is an added cost, Persinger said, but it is saving the lives of dogs at the shelter.

The county money will also help replenish the shelter's supply of PPE, something volunteer Catrina Schwyn said they've been going through quite a lot of lately.

"Let's say like, if I walk a sick dog, even changing in between PPE, spraying off our shoes, washing hands, whatever we can do to try to not cross contaminate the dogs," Schwyn said.

Even with the additional funds, Persinger said it remains to be seen if the extra testing capacity will be enough to curb this outbreak.

"We have reached out to the United States Humane Society and the ASPCA and they're seeing it in other places as well. Just things we haven't seen before," Persinger said.

The shelter can keep about 200 dogs comfortably. Right now they have some 230, and many more animals are in the care of foster families.

"Thank goodness we have 200 families out there willing to foster them because those dogs really have an excellent chance of overcoming this, you know being in a household outside of this common community we have here," Persinger said.

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Matthew Rand