The Licking County Humane Society is temporarily closed after the discovery of the parvovirus.
HEATH, Ohio -
A litter of puppies is dead and the Licking County Humane Society is temporarily closed after the discovery of the parvovirus at the dog shelter.
According to the Humane Society's Director, Lori Carlson, a litter of puppies has died from the virus. Another puppy contracted the virus, but is responding to treatment. Carlson said no adult dogs have been impacted.
Parvovirus exists in two forms: intestinal and cardiac. Experts say the intestinal form is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss. The cardiac form can impact a dog's heart muscles and frequently shows up in puppies.
The virus spreads through direct contact with other dogs or through fecal matter. Health experts said the virus can also be spread by humans by fecal matter on shoes.
News of the virus in Heath hit home for Amanda Delaboine who has a German Shepherd mix puppy that she adores.
"She is a family member. I mean she's no different than a niece or nephew running around ... making people happy," Delaboine said.
The Humane Society is currently closed while crews clean and disinfect the facility. Carlson said the maximum number of days the building could be closed is 14 days. The shelter has ordered thorough cleaning Carlson said and is waiting for test results before determining when to reopen.
The Licking County Health Department said it is not required to be notified of parvovirus cases since it does not directly impact humans.
If your dog displays symptoms of parvovirus health experts recommend taking your pet to a veterinarian immediately.