The Stockton Animal Shelter will remain closed until Tuesday after a shelter dog tested positive for a deadly bacteria, which required exposed animals to be euthanized.
The shelter dog tested positive for Streptococcus Equi Zooepidemicus, also known as strep zoo, according to a statement posted on the shelter’s Facebook page.
Dogs infected by the bacteria experience sudden death due to hemorrhagic pneumonia, often within just two to three days of exposure, staff wrote.
Staff said examinations were performed on the dead animals, which confirmed the dogs were exposed to the deadly bacteria.
“We have no plans on depopulating the entire shelter, but have euthanized the most highly exposed animals,” staff wrote. “This step was taken to reduce the risk of infection to the rest of the shelter population.”
Staff are now treating the remaining dogs with antibiotics, and veterinarian staff will closely monitor their health.
The outbreak has forced staff to stop accepting any new animals into the shelter, as a precaution.
The bacteria can be infectious to humans, staff said, though it is unlikely as long as proper protective gear is worn when dealing with exposed or infected animals.
Staff will be doing a thorough cleaning of the shelter over the next several days to reduce the spread of infection.