Mesa Animal Shelter Fighting To Contain Respiratory Infection

By Austin Westfall
Published: Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 4:50pm
Updated: Friday, January 26, 2018 - 6:19am

The Maricopa County animal shelter in Mesa is taking desperate measures to contain an upper respiratory infection called "Strep Zoo."

Four dogs are dead, and dozens more are sick. The county is halting intakes at the shelter and diverting animals to its Phoenix location.

Spokesman Jose Santiago says the crisis is affecting food and staff resources, as well as the health of the shelter's animals.

"The stress of this kennel environment for the dogs that are already showing signs of this upper respiratory infection is making things a lot worse on them," he said.

Santiago said getting the dogs out of the shelter and into a quiet home with medication is the best solution.

Adoption numbers are up since news of the shelter's problem broke Monday, but Santiago said some people question whether to bring home an animal that is not feeling well.

"The answer is that's the only way that they're going to start feeling well," he said.

Adoption is free for most adult animals through the weekend at both shelters.

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