A Cincinnati animal shelter is pausing dog operations. The canines in the organization’s care are experiencing an increase in upper respiratory infection symptoms.

Infection symptoms temporarily shutter Cincinnati animal shelter

According to WCPO 9, the dogs at Cincinnati Animal CARE (CAC) are increasingly exhibiting symptoms of upper respiratory infections. Dogs with upper respiratory infections often exhibit symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and nasal discharge. They may also experience lethargy and a loss of appetite as the infection progresses.

As a precaution, the nonprofit made the difficult decision to put a temporary hold on all dog-related activities.

“We do not want to cause alarm, but with a high volume of unvaccinated stray dogs coming into the shelter, we don’t want to take any unnecessary risks with our population and our community,” a spokesperson for CAC explained in a Facebook post on Sunday.

The organization needs to limit the number of animals arriving at the shelter.

“While obviously there is never an ideal time to pause operations, this will be additionally challenging as we’ve taken in 389 new animals in the last three weeks,” the organization shared. “A stray dog does not have to come to the shelter. Keeping them out of the shelter as long as possible is the best course of action for any dog right now.”

What a pause on dog operations means for strays

The organization offered some tips for local residents in case they encounter stray dogs. First, determine if it is safe to approach the dog. Then, start knocking on doors. Inquire at five homes in both directions to see if anyone can identify the dog. Also, try posting photos of the dog on social media to see if dog parents come forward. Next, ask your local vet or pet store if they are willing to scan for a microchip. Finally, if necessary, contact CAC to file a found dog report. That way, you can help the stray dog find their way home without exposing them to upper respiratory infection symptoms at CAC.

“This will alleviate pressure on staff and volunteers, as well as the dogs themselves, should we need to extend our pause in daily operations,” CAC said.

Currently, the nonprofit is waiting for test results that will indicate how many dogs have upper respiratory infections. It is not known how long the pause on dog operations will last.

“Transparency with our community is non-negotiable, so when issues like this arise, we want to include you in the plan,” CAC said. “It is the best way to maximize lifesaving and face any challenge head-on.”

Even though CAC is temporarily closed to the public, the organization still has over 100 dogs in foster homes who need forever homes.

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