Lewiston animal shelter to lift dog quarantine

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LEWISTON — The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society will lift its dog quarantine Tuesday, 14 days after a shepherd-mix was found to have the highly contagious parvovirus.

Dogs will be available for adoption Tuesday and the shelter will once again accept new dogs.

None of the shelter’s 27 dogs has shown signs of parvo, except for the 9-year-old shepherd-mix who arrived with the disease. She was treated and will be up for adoption Tuesday.

Parvovirus is a life-threatening viral infection that can attack a dog’s intestinal tract and white blood cells.

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“It just wreaks havoc,” Development Director Donna Kincer said.

All dogs are vaccinated against the parvovirus when they arrive at the humane society, but it takes time for the vaccine to take effect. During the 14-day quarantine, the shelter’s dogs were not allowed out of their kennels for fear of spreading the disease. 

At the beginning of the quarantine, the shelter asked the public to donate treats and toys to keep the dogs entertained while they were confined. The public responded.

“They love it,” Kincer said of the dogs. “Peanut butter’s a really good thing because we stuff the Kong (toy) with it. It keeps them busy.”

During the quarantine, the shelter also refused all new dogs. Owners were directed to other shelters or asked to wait to surrender their dog until the quarantine was lifted. Animal control officers brought lost dogs to other shelters. 

Although the humane society has dealt with parvo in the past, it hasn’t seen it in a while. Officials there are urging owners to get their dogs vaccinated against the disease.

“It is in our community,” Kincer said.

ltice@sunjournal.com

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