Puppies test positive for parvo

GREENVILLE– An addition to the family left some in heartbreak after adopting puppies from the Darke County Animal Shelter’s second annual Open House held on Saturday, July 30.

Stephanie Lind, of Arcanum, and her family adopted an 8-week-old Boxer-Terrier mix that day, one of the last four puppies still available during the three hour event.

Once home, Nala, as the family came to name her, seemed fine, but by Wednesday, the puppy was vomiting and had diarrhea.

“She was really weak and sick all day long,” explained Lind, thinking perhaps they had done something to make the puppy sick such as a treat or something in the yard, especially as Nala seemed to improve later in the day.

It wasn’t until Lind noted a Facebook post the following day that a potential illness came to light. The Facebook User who posted had also adopted a puppy from the event, one from the same litter as Lind’s Nala. The poster’s puppy had become ill, and after a veterinarian determined it was Parvo, the new owner chose euthanization.

Parvo is a highly contagious virus with symptoms that include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and fever, and it is fatal if left untreated. Puppies are the most prone to the virus, which is preventable by vaccination.

Lind already had a scheduled appointment with an area veterinarian the day of the Facebook post. Unfortunately, Nala tested positive for Parvo and also has a parasite. The family vet gave options from an animal hospital that could run over $1,000 or take oral antibiotics with a 50/50 chance of survival.

Noting they were told the puppies had been vaccinated and checked by a veterinarian before adoption, Lind contacted the Darke County Animal Shelter and spoke with the director, Robert Bair.

“He was very kind, very sympathetic,” said Lind, with an option to bring Nala back to the shelter or euthanize her with a reimbursement of the $90 adoption fee. However, Lind did not want either of those options. She prefers reimbursement for the adoption fee and the costs of the veterinarian services.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Lind, sharing how much the family loves Nala and hopes the shelter does the right thing for the sick puppies. “At a bare minimum, they should give people their adoption fee back.

Robert Bair, Darke County Animal Shelter director, expressed his sympathies for the puppies and their new owners.

“It’s very unfortunate,” said Bair. “We’re sad and sorry for those who lost their puppies, too.”

Bair shared the shelter has reached out to those who adopted puppies regarding the exposure to Parvo, with the exception of two they’ve been unable to reach with the contact information provided to them.

When asked about testing for Parvo, Bair states they don’t generally test unless signs of the virus are displayed. The director will be working with the Darke County Board of Commissioners to reimburse the adoption fees for Parvo-positive puppies. He added his current is on cleaning the animal shelter.

Beth Royer-Delong

Bethany J. Royer-DeLong is a lifelong Darke County resident and has been a part of the newspaper industry for nearly two decades. An eye for the world of work, leadership, mental health, and humor whenever possible, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership. Contact her at broyerdelong@darkecountynow.com.

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