One dog has tested positive for pneumovirus at the Animal Care and Protective Services (ACPS) shelter. This is a contagious respiratory virus that ACPS does not commonly see in their dog population. Symptoms of pneumovirus are similar to other respiratory viruses and include coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge. In more severe cases, symptoms may progress to include pneumonia or difficulty breathing. The last time this virus was identified in a dog at the shelter was in 2020.
There is not a vaccine to protect dogs against pneumovirus so preventing it from spreading to healthy dogs and eliminating it from the shelter is our priority. 130 dogs have been placed under quarantine and are being closely monitored for symptoms of pnuemovirus. One additional dog has shown mild symptoms and testing is being conducted to determine if pneumovirus is the cause.
At the recommendation of infectious disease experts, healthy strays and owned dogs that are not a threat to public safety will not be admitted to the shelter. This will allow ACPS to isolate and quarantine the exposed population of dogs while minimizing the risk of healthy dogs being exposed. This limitation will be in effect for at least 14 days and will be dependent on the identification of additional cases within the shelter.
If you find a lost dog and choose to intervene, please commit to helping it find its way home. Post flyers in the area in which it was found, have it scanned for a microchip, ask around in the neighborhood to see if anyone knows who the dog belongs to, and post on social media sites such as Facebook and Nextdoor. Please do not bring healthy stray dogs to the shelter. If you feel a stray dog is in danger or poses a risk to public safety, please call 630-CITY so ACPS can assess the situation and determine the best course of action.
The adoption center will remain open, but public access to dog housing areas will be limited. Adopters will be made aware of the possible pneumovirus exposure, educated on symptoms to watch for (coughing, sneezing, nasal and ocular discharge), and instructed on how to receive follow up medical care should it be needed. Adopters and fosters will also be counseled on separating their new dog from other dogs as well as avoiding dog parks, pet stores, and other areas frequented by dogs.
ACPS’ greatest need right now is foster homes and adopters for medium and large adoptable dogs that we do not believe have been exposed to pneumovirus as well as those that have been exposed. Foster homes should be able to commit to caring for a medium or large size dog for a minimum of two weeks. All supplies and medical care will be provided. The body’s ability to fight illness is greatly compromised by stress so dogs are best supported by being cared for outside of the shelter.
If you have adopted a dog from our shelter in the last two weeks and have noted coughing, sneezing, or discharge from the eyes or nose, please contact the adoption center by emailing JaxPets@coj.net.
For general questions regarding canine pneumovirus, please contact our shelter staff by emailing JaxPets@coj.net. We appreciate your patience and understanding while we take the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of the pets and people in our community.
About ACPS: ACPS enhances the quality of life in our neighborhoods by offering quality pets for adoption at a reasonable cost. ACPS is dedicated to providing a high level of service to the citizens of Jacksonville and to saving lives of all adoptable animals in our community. Animal Care and Protective Services can be reached via email at JaxPets@COJ.net or call (904) 630-CITY (2489).