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Highly Contagious Strep Zoo Case Closes Lexington Humane Society - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

Highly Contagious Strep Zoo Case Closes Lexington Humane Society

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control and The Lexington Humane Society are temporarily closing, in response to a health safety issue at the facility. Staff veterinarians have confirmed a case of a bacterial infection in two of the animals.

One animal was euthanized and another died from the infection.

In accordance with safety guidelines, both buildings will be immediately closed and cleaned. 

“This weekend we identified Streptococcus zooepidemicus (strep zoo) in a dog at the facility. The illness affects the respiratory system and is most common in horses and cows, but also affects dogs and cats,” says Dr. Liz Ubelhor, agency veterinarian.

Health officials at both agencies are closely monitoring the condition of animals in their care.

Strep zoo is spread through airborne exposure, contact with bodily fluids and contaminated surfaces.

“Because all of the animals at our facilities are well-vaccinated and well cared for, we anticipate this disease will be quickly contained,” says Ubelhor. Agency officials say this 14-day cleaning and quarantine plan is being completed out of an abundance of caution.

“The safety of all of the animals in our facility is our top priority. We want to assure our community we will be working overtime to identify, treat, care for and cure all animals that may have been exposed to this disease,” says Susan Malcomb, president of Lexington Humane Society.

In an effort to properly handle this situation LFACC will not be receiving animals at the facility. Likewise, animals currently at both facilities will be held until the quarantine is complete.

“A temporary animal shelter will be in place and operational within 48 hours at Masterson Station Park. This shelter will house stray animals that are picked up by patrolling officers or turned in by members of the public. No owned animal will be accepted for surrender at the temporary shelter location at this time,” says LFACC Chief Nathan Bowling.

“Heightening our already stringent cleaning protocol, the entire campus will be cleaned—including kennels and other areas that animals have access to,” says Malcomb

Animals who are not showing signs of sickness will be given a safe, long-acting, broad spectrum antibiotic know as Convenia.

“This course of treatment is being recommended Dr Cynda Crawford, renowned shelter management expert,” says Ublehor. Adoption services at the Lexington Humane Society main building and Everyday Adoption Center services at PetSmart will also be temporarily suspended.

If you have adopted an animal in the last seven days, contact the Humane Society immediately.

Officials with the shelter say that this could happen anywhere and that they are taking action to resolve the issue.

The timing of the event, unfortunately, coincided with the time of year they need the most donations. If you would like to support the humane society at this time. Click here

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