BRADENTON (FOX 13) - Puppies rescued from a shelter in Georgia came to Manatee County for a second chance, but they also came with a deadly virus.
More than a dozen puppies have tested positive for parvovirus. Sadly, it's not uncommon, but it can be deadly.
It's put everything on hold for staff and adoptable pets at Nate’s Honor Rescue.
The pups are playful now, but they’ve had a rough go. 27 were brought in from an overcrowded shelter in Georgia. Once they arrived at Nate's Honor Rescue, staff knew something was horribly wrong.
"They were very lethargic, they were vomiting, there was a lot of diarrhea," Nate's Honor Rescue Associate Director Karen Slomba said.
All signs pointed to the deadly parvovirus and 23 have since tested positive. One puppy died.
Each puppy had been vaccinated at its previous shelter for the parvovirus. Staff says it's uncommon, but not unheard of, for dogs to then become infected.
Nate's Honor Rescue has spent its medical fund - $25,000 - to nurse the dogs back to health and make sure its facilities are parvo-free.
“It’s going to be difficult for us to take in cases in the future of dogs with broken legs or dogs that come in needing special medical care," Slomba said.
Volunteers and staff have been on-hand cleaning up since they first learned about the parvo outbreak. They'll do a second sweep and hope to have the doors back open by Wednesday.
"We complete the first processes with soap and water, then it's with bleach and disinfectants,” Nate’s Honor Rescue Executive Director Dari Oglesby explained.
Now some are recovering. Those testing negative to the parvovirus will need to find caring foster homes.
"The mental wellbeing is just as important as the physical, so [we need] to get them in homes where they're loving and being cared for and nurtured," Oglesby said.
It's the same goal for every rescued animal at Nate’s. Luckily, the shelter’s existing population of dogs was not exposed to the puppies and are parvo-free.
Those dogs will be up for adoption at Nate’s location off Cooper Creek Boulevard in Bradenton.