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Lake County Animal Shelter closed after parvo outbreak: 16 dogs euthanized

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Sixteen dogs were euthanized this week as the Lake County Animal Shelter in Tavares, Fla. The shelter closed its doors to adoptions and intakes on Thursday because of the spread of the parvovirus; an extremely deadly and contagious disease which affects the intestinal tract of dogs.

New policies had been instituted at the beginning of the year ordering the vaccination and veterinary treatment of all dogs upon intake. The shelter had been reported to have had an unusually high number of dog deaths related to hookworms and parvo.

Members of the community are outraged after a recent press release by Brian Sheahan, for Community Safety and Compliance stated the facility would be closed as a precaution, and asking anyone who has recently adopted a pet from the shelter to be aware of potential illness and symptoms of parvo.

Documentation about the possibility of the deadly parvovirus apparently had previously been ignored. The following appeared on Facebook posted by a citizen of the community:

"Dixie case # (145645) DOG WAS HAVING BLOODY STOOLS,VOMIT, DROOLING. TESTED POSITIVE FOR PARVO
4-24-14 ET(Killed)
Was an Owner Surrender intake on 4/14 and sat on the adoption floor for 10 days with Parvo

Bam Bam case # (145825)
An Owner Surrender intake on 4/18 sat on adoption floor for for a week and was euthanized on 4/26"

Animal advocates allege for 16 days the sick dogs walked in and out of their kennels showing the obvious symptoms of parvo, yet no potential adopters, fosters, or rescue organizations were ever informed.

"Until the people tell those who are "supposedly" representing us, their constituents, that we are disgusted and want positive change at our tax funded shelter, nothing will change. Let them know you're watching. Hold them accountable. Brian Sheahan has attempted to cover up the worst nightmare an animal shelter could experience - a parvo virus outbreak."

According to the DailyCommercial.com, an inspection of the facility done in 2013 showed 43 areas of improvement needed. A report has been ordered by David Heath, County Manager, of all vaccinations and veterinary inspections given to “ensure that we are adequately protecting our animal shelter’s population."

Commissioner Jimmy Conner has asked Sheriff Gary Borders to prepare a proposal to take over the shelter.

May all the dogs who died rest in peace.

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