East Bay SPCA has begun receiving much-needed assistance in caring for 150 dogs infected with canine flu and quarantined in an emergency shelter.
An outbreak of Canine Influenza Virus was reported in the Oakland area in mid June. The illness has been reported sporadically for several months, but the discovery of five infected dogs in the Oakland Animal Shelter has morphed into 150 at that shelter and the East Bay SPCA. Because the disease is so contagious, an emergency shelter was established to handle dogs infected or showing signs of exposure.
RedRover, a national nonprofit animal welfare organization based in Sacramento, arrived at the temporary shelter today and will stay through July 18, helping to care for the dogs and allowing regular shelter workers and volunteers to go back to focusing on their healthy charges.
RedRover sent 12 trained emergency response volunteers to help care for the dogs at the emergency quarantine facility. The volunteers traveled from across Northern California and Arizona.
“We are committed to caring for these dogs stricken with this highly contagious disease,” said Beth Gammie, RedRover’s director of field services. “RedRover responders help animals in a variety of crises and will do what we can to lend a hand to keep this epidemic from spreading.”
The influenza outbreak has put dog owners throughout the Bay Area on alert and triggered a demand for vaccines. Canine Influenza Virus, despite the name, is not a seasonal illness so dogs can become infected any time of the year. When caught early, the flu is not difficult to treat, but the recovery is lengthy and dogs remain contagious for many days, something that necessitated the quarantine of infected dogs for up to six weeks.
Distinguished by their red shirts, RedRover responders are specially trained to care for and shelter large numbers of animals after they have been rescued from cruelty and neglect cases or natural disasters. The volunteers provide the workforce, which enables communities to address their animal needs swiftly and efficiently.
The organization has more than 4,000 trained volunteers in the United States and Canada, and can deploy quickly when communities become overburdened by a crisis involving large numbers of animals. Since 1987, RedRover has responded to more than 200 natural disasters and other crises nationwide including the Camp and Carr Fires, as well as Hurricanes Michael, Irma, Harvey, and Katrina.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle