Bridgeport Animal Shelter Closes Amid Parvovirus Outbreak

Bridgeport Animal Control will be closed until the end of next week while authorities work to contain a small parvovirus outbreak, according to a spokesperson for the city.

Parvovirus has infected three of the shelter's 53 dogs, but in order to prevent it from spreading, all animals have been quarantined and will received extra veterinary care.

The shelter will remain closed until Aug. 20 and will undergo "an overabundance of cleaning," city public safety spokesperson Kevin Coughlin said in a news relase Friday.

"We are being overly cautious and overly thorough," Bridgeport Animal Control Officer Gina Gambino said in a statement Friday. "The entire shelter area is cleaned twice a day with full strength bleach and dogs are regularly being checked and rechecked for any signs of the illness. Animal Control is doing everything we can to keep our animals safe and healthy."

In the meantime, neighboring towns will help shelter dogs and cats picked up in Bridgeport.

All shelter dogs are vaccinated for parvovirus, but must wait until the city obtains ownership of the animals seven or eight days after they arrive, Coughlin said.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, canine parvovirus is highly contagious and affects dogs' digestive systems. Symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Most dogs who die of parvovirus succumb to the disease within 48 to 72 hours of developing symptoms.

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