RACC set to reopen this weekend following dog virus outbreak

Dozens of four-legged friends are feeling much better than they were compared to a few weeks ago.
Published: Jun. 29, 2023 at 1:59 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Dozens of four-legged friends are feeling much better than they were a few weeks ago, when an outbreak of a dog virus inside Richmond Animal Care & Control’s facility off Chamberlayne Avenue forced the shelter to shutter.

“Just trying to stay calm,” said Robin Young, Richmond Animal Care & Control outreach coordinator. “Taking care of our dogs that are here, taking care of the animals and just gearing back up to open.”

Young says the issue started when a few dogs tested positive for canine flu. When it spread, and other dogs became symptomatic, the shelter made the decision to close for two weeks.

Canine Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease for dogs, but it is treatable. There’s also a vaccine.

Young says only a few dogs are still dealing with the issue and are in isolation.

“So we’ve just taken a break,” Young said. “Everybody’s been on meds, taken care of. And we’ve been given the all-clear to open back up this weekend, so we’re super excited.”

Now, the push is on to clear the shelter. Some 40 dogs and two dozen cats are up for adoption starting this weekend, with fees waived.

“You know, we haven’t done any adoptions for two weeks, so we’ve kind of been on pause,” Young said. “So we’re ready to open those adoptions back up again.”

RACC is also reminding pet owners to be mindful during this time because the sound of fireworks can be terrifying for pets.

“They’re going to hear those noises, they’re going to panic, they’re going to run away,” Young said. “A lot of shelters see a lot of strays around Fourth of July, animals that get away, panic.”

You can adopt again on Saturday from noon until 5 p.m. at RACC.