Animal hospital helps shelter puppies exposed to contagious Parvovirus

Indy’s animal shelter gets help caring for and treating a litter of puppies they feared they might have to euthanized. (WTHR Photo/Mary Milz)
Local Animal Hospital Helps Take Action Against Parvovirus
Animal hospital steps up to help

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – When Indianapolis Animal Care Services took in 10 puppies exposed to Parvovirus, they knew they had no place to quarantine them, no place to keep the other dogs safe from the highly contagious and sometimes deadly virus.

They were worried they might have to euthanize them until Noah's Animal Hospital came to the rescue.

The animal hospital offered to house and care for the dogs at its old hospital on Crawfordsville Road, the one it closed two years after moving into a new building just a quarter mile away.

"These are larger puppies and it's hard to find place to house them securely and keep the rest of the population safe," Dr. Denise Katz with Noah's said of the roughly 7-month-old husky-mix pups.

It all began after an owner brought a sick puppy to ACS Saturday.

The puppy had Parvovirus and couldn't be saved. Knowing its nine littermates were at risk, the owner agreed to surrender them. A visiting dog was also brought to the shelter.

Shortly after the van of dogs arrived at the old Noah's hospital, ACS medical manager Jaycee Robb knew at least one was infected, given the bloody diarrhea in his crate.

"That's one of the first signs," she said. "I'm hoping we get it early enough and are able to save all of them."

The dog tested positive for parvovirus, as would two others. It wasn't what Robb wanted to hear.

"It's preventable. Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. We have the resources at the shelter to help people who can't afford it," she said, noting the vaccination costs $15.

Katz said if treated early enough, "we have a very good success rate," noting Noah's vets will be checking on the dogs multiple times a day.

But she said that care initially estimated to cost Noah's $2,500, will now cost thousands of dollars more with each new case of Parvovirus.

The money will come from Anna's Pet Care Fund. It's a non-profit Noah's set up recently to help pet owners in need cover emergency medical bills.

The fund is named after Dr. Michael Thomas's mother Anna, who passed away in 2005. Thomas is president and owner of Noah's.

Katz said, since April the fund has helped eight pet owners and now ACS.

"Whenever these types of things come up we want to be part of the community," she said.

As for ACS pups? Assuming they do well, all nine will be up for adoption. The other dog will be returned to its owner.