Dog flu halts adoptions at Chicago's Anti-Cruelty Society

FOX 32 NEWS - The dog flu has temporarily stopped adoptions at the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago.

An infected dog came in from another shelter in the Chicago area, according to Dr. Robyn Barbiers, president of the Anti-Cruelty Society.

Canine influenza is highly contagious and it quickly spread to the other dogs at the adoption center. For now, all dog adoptions are on hold. 

"We've gone through this before, we've been able to clear it, but unfortunately it came back," Dr. Barbiers said.

Canine influenza made its way back into the Anti-Cruelty Society on Grand Avenue in the River North neighborhood. 
When an infected dog came into the shelter, the virus spread quickly.

"We were infected a week ago and we had one room that was in quarantine, and we were very hopeful that it wouldn't spread," Dr. Barbiers added. "But, it is so contagious and it's easily spread and unfortunately a week later, more dogs got sick, so now all the dogs are in quarantine."

About 70 dogs are in quarantine and they will remain that way for the next 3 to 4 weeks.

Although similar to flu found in humans, canine influenza takes longer to recover from.

In this case, dog flu can not only be spread from dog to dog. Veterinarians say humans who come into contact with a sick dog's nasal secretions can also pass the virus to a healthy dog.

"Fortunately 99 percent of the dogs recover just fine," Dr. Barbiers said. "Occasionally you'll get one that will develop into pneumonia and may need some extra special attention."

The country's first canine influenza outbreak happened right here in Chicago in 2015. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to monitor any outbreaks.
If you're concerned for your pet, symptoms to look for include cough, runny nose and fever. Unfortunately, not all dogs will display any of these symptoms, even if they're infected.

The Anti-Cruelty Society is asking if anyone wants to donate treats for the dogs. It helps them take their medication.
The center is looking for things like hot dogs, liverwurst and cheese.

Cats at the location are not infected and remain up for adoption.