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SCRAPS temporarily closing due to deadly outbreak of contagious illness in dogs

SCRAPS has identified multiple cases of Streptococcus Zooepidemicus (Strep Zoo) in dogs at the shelter, officials said.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service will temporarily close to the public due to a deadly outbreak of a contagious disease found in dogs.

According to SCRAPS, officials have identified multiple cases of Streptococcus Zooepidemicus (Strep Zoo) in dogs at the shelter. The bacteria has caused the deaths of two asymptomatic dogs.

After the deaths, SCRAPS worked with Washington State University to perform extensive diagnostic testing, the results of which were received on Friday. In an effort to keep other animals at SCRAPS healthy, the shelter will not take in any additional animals and will be closed to the public for an anticipated two-week period, starting on Friday.

According to SCRAPS, Strep Zoo is a bacteria that can cause respiratory disease and death in various species. 

In dogs, symptoms can include coughing, nasal discharge, fever, and retching (often mistaken for vomiting). Infected dogs may not show any symptoms. The bacteria can be spread through the air, bodily secretions and contact with common surfaces.

SCRAPS has undertaken preventive, antibiotic treatment for every dog in its care and is in the process of contacting guardians of dogs who have recently left the shelter.

According to Spokane County spokesperson Jared Webley, SpokAnimal will not be able to take in strays but SCRAPS is in conversation with the Spokane Humane Society regarding assistance. 

Officials at SCRAPS are asking community members to hold on to healthy, stray dogs if possible. They will take in some strays if it's absolutely necessary.