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IACS suspends animal intake after finding bacterial strain within the shelter

Strep zoo likely killed two dogs in the shelter
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Posted at 5:58 PM, Oct 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-05 23:19:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS —  Indianapolis Animal Care Services, also known as IACS, has suspended all animal intake after a bacterial strain was identified within the shelter.

IACS says out of an abundance of caution, the shelter will not be accepting animals for the rest of the week. This comes after streptococcus equi zooepidemicus, better known as strep zoo, was found inside the building.

"Certainly in an environment where we have roughly 400 or some animals, we thought it prudent to suspend the intake of any additional animals at this time," said IACS communications officer Kurt Christian.

Two dogs were sent to Purdue University for testing. IACS says the bacterial strain was likely the cause of death for the dogs.

Symptoms of strep zoo include coughing, nasal discharge, vomiting, and labored breathing.

Officials say they began providing animals with antibiotics on Oct. 1.

"Since those two dogs, we have not had any more reported deaths. That is the result of us being hypervigilant," Christian said.

Other shelters and organizations are filling the gap for animal intake while IACS is in quarantine. That includes IndyHumane, which is already familiar with taking in stray animals.

"I got the call from them and said, 'What's going on, are your animals okay, is there anything we can do,'" said IndyHumane executive director Donna Casamento. "When you talk to someone with such a clear path and they say they need your support...I checked with my staff and they were all in to do this."

IACS says they will resume animal intake on Monday, Oct. 9.

Animals treated with antibiotics will still be eligible for adoption from IACS during the intake pause.

For more information on IACS, click here.