Hamilton County needs help saving puppies with parvovirus

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By Adam Aasen

Animal control officials recently seized 21 puppies infected with the dangerous parvovirus and now The Humane Society for Hamilton County is helping treat and find homes for the surviving dogs.

On Aug 11., authorities were tipped off about the pups in an Indianapolis home. The owner voluntarily surrendered the sick dogs and two already died that day. Another puppy died later that week as he was weakened by the contagious illness.

The Hamilton County animal shelter – which is no-kill in most circumstances – agreed to help care for 13 of the dogs because the Indianapolis facilities were at capacity.

As it’s been previously reported in Current, the Humane Society for Hamilton County (HSHC) is lacking in facility space and often relies on foster homes. Since there is no quarantine area, HSHC’s veterinary partner Noah’s Animal Hospital, agreed to treat and board the puppies until they were well enough for foster homes.

HSHC Executive Director Rebecca Stevens said parvovirus has a high mortality rate because it causes bloody diarrhea that dehydrates the dogs until their organs shut down.

“Getting them on fluids and antibiotics immediately is their best chance, and even at that, some still won’t survive if they’re already malnourished and compromised like the little tan and white hound,” she said. “He was a skeleton. Their little bodies just can’t fight it off.”

Not all the dogs have tested positive for the virus, but it is possible symptoms could show later. Lucky Pup Rescue is caring for six of the dogs.

The dog owner, who was not identified to the media, told investigators she found the dogs on Craigslist and she was rescuing them to keep them safe. Stevens said she believes no charges were filed.

“She was the typical hoarder who goes into it with the best of intentions but gets in over their head quickly,” Stevens said.

It will take a few weeks before the puppies are available for adoption. Stevens has identified experienced caretakers to foster the pets, including current and former employees at the animal shelter.

Stevens wants to emphasize that all of the medical expenses will be paid for through donations and not taxpayer money. She said it won’t be cheap, so she’s hoping people will help donate to provide care for the dogs.

An online crowd-funding campaign has been started and has already collected close to $2,000 as of Aug. 13. The campaign can be found at www.crowdrise.com/ParadeofPaws2014/fundraiser/13beatingparvo.

Anyone interested in helping can also call (317) 773-4974 or log on to http://www.hamiltonhumane.com/.

From the Humane Society-

PARVO PUPPY UPDATE: We are sad to report that 3 of the 13 puppies in our care have passed away. We are doing everything we can to try and save these precious souls…but this virus is unrelenting. Thanks to your incredible generosity we’ve raised over $2,500 for their medical care – just short of our $3,500 goal. Please consider donating today.

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