Board member Dr. John Owens said, as a veterinarian, he was concerned with the anesthetic risks of spaying/neutering young pets (age 6 months and younger) and also said the stress of the surgery could potentially induce parvovirus.
The new procedure will require pets adopted from Cleveland’s shelter be vaccinated for parvo before they can be spayed or neutered.
Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus which mainly affects dogs. The disease is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with dogs’ feces. Parvo can be especially severe in puppies that are not vaccinated. There are two distinct presentations of the disease, a cardiac and intestinal form. The common signs of the intestinal form are severe vomiting and dysentery. The cardiac form causes puppies respiratory or cardiovascular failure. Vaccines can prevent the infection; however, it is estimated that if dogs are not vaccinated there is a 91 percent mortality rate.
“I can see problems with that. I know other places spay and neuter young, but to be honest, I don’t know how they do,” said Owens.
With the establishment of the new procedure, when an individual adopts a puppy the animal will be taken to a local vet of the owner’s choice and be administered a parvo vaccine. The vet will then schedule a date for the spay/neuter. If the pet owner does not adhere to the spay/neuter date, the individual will be possibly subjected to a fine by the city of Cleveland.
Owens said once a young animal is adopted, parvo vaccines can be administered within 24 hours.
In other Animal Shelter Board news, a list of animal rescue groups with contact information has been placed on the entrance gate at the Animal Shelter. Individuals taking animals to the animal shelter are encouraged to contact the animal rescue groups before placing the animal in the shelter’s custody.
Sandy Turner was recognized as the newest board member during the meeting.
The next scheduled meeting will be Oct. 6.