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Humane Society resumes adopting dogs to public

May 09, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - The Humane Society of Washington County resumed adopting dogs to the public Tuesday after an upper respiratory illness that infected several of the animals prompted officials to close the kennel in mid-April.

Katherine Cooker, humane society spokeswoman, said none of the dogs had to be put down after they contracted the illness.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 10 dogs were available for adoption, she said. Additional dogs, like strays and those in pre-adoption, also are at the facility.

Cooker said the dogs were checked Monday by Dr. Tracy Barlup of Longmeadow Animal Hospital in Hagerstown.

"We do not believe that kennel cough or canine influenza were involved in this outbreak, and all the dogs affected ... appear to have recovered or be recovering nicely," Barlup said. "I feel it is now safe to reopen the facility to incoming and outgoing canines."

Barlup said the illness was limited to dogs and posed no threat to cats in the humane society's care.

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Paul Miller, executive director of the humane society, said last week that the dogs were given antibiotics for about 10 to 14 days.

Symptoms of the illness included congestion, nasal discharge, fever, lethargy and loss of appetite, he said.

Once the symptoms were noticed, Miller said humane society officials reacted immediately by giving dogs antibiotics and closing the kennel to keep the illness from spreading.

He said the illness developed when someone brought an infected dog to the facility.

"We had to deal with the consequences," he said.

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