Pasco County's animal shelter is reopened and free of parvovirus, county officials said Tuesday.
The shelter closed its dog adoptions June 26 after several dogs tested positive for the highly contagious disease.
Eight dogs with the virus had to be euthanized, Pasco community services director Elizabeth Goodwin-Harris said at Tuesday's County Commission meeting. One was a 10-week-old Doberman puppy.
"It's hard to watch," she said.
Goodwin-Harris said that number was low, though, compared to the 140 dogs the shelter was housing at the time. According to a memo provided by Pasco County Animal Services, that number is above capacities recommended by the county and several animal associations. The County Commission had approved a capacity of 100 dogs, with some flexibility.
The biggest lesson, Goodwin-Harris said, is that there is a reason for maximum capacities.
Parvovirus is easily transmitted through dog feces and vomit. Goodwin-Harris said workers were careful to avoid spreading contaminants by disinfecting the shelter and wearing protective gear. The virus is most commonly found in puppies, but it can affect dogs of any age.
The shelter reopened dog adoptions Tuesday. Animal Services will host a grand reopening of dog adoptions from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the shelter, 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O' Lakes.
All dog adoptions are free this week until the reopening event ends.
Clare Lennon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6262. Twitter: @clarelennon