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Animal shelter quarantine lifted; adoption fees waived

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

The Alachua County Animal Services shelter has lifted its canine pneumovirus quarantine and has about 100 dogs ready to adopt. Animal Services Director Ed Williams said there are “lots of really great dogs that need to get into homes.” The shelter is waiving adoption and transfer fees, and they are open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:30-5:30. Pictures of adoptable pets can be viewed here

With no positive pneumovirus tests since January 10, the shelter is back to normal operations. However, while the shelter was under quarantine, healthy dogs that were turned over to Animal Services were placed at Camp McConnell, and canine pneumovirus was found in that facility about 1.5 weeks ago. Out of 8 samples that were sent out for testing, 7 came back positive for pneumovirus, and the Camp McConnell facility was closed to new strays on January 17. It is expected to be quarantined until mid-to-late February. 

Pneumovirus is highly contagious but not serious—its symptoms are similar to those of the human common cold, and no deaths have resulted locally from the virus. However, if it’s not treated, it can progress to pneumonia and can become more serious.

There are currently about 50 dogs at Camp McConnell, and because they are kept in individual kennels, there is a need for volunteers to walk them and play with them. Specifically, 3-4 people are needed at Camp McConnell for a few hours at 7:00 a.m. or 4:00 p.m., 7 days a week. The volunteer coordinator will schedule volunteers so nobody has to go every day. 

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The main shelter is also accepting volunteers again to walk and play with dogs and take photographs of adoptable pets. Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Khendrea Wilson at kwilson@alachuacounty.us.