Illness closes Citrus Animal Services shelter

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A mystery respiratory illness has forced Citrus County to close the Animal Services shelter until further notice. Now, officials are turning to the University of Florida for help.

According to a county spokesperson, veterinarians from the University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program are waiting on lab work before they can help the shelter identify the “severe upper respiratory illness” and determine a treatment plan. 

In the meantime, the county says, animals in the shelter are receiving supportive care and “strict isolation protocols have been implemented.”

Officials also suggest that county animal owners keep close tabs on their pets and have identification handy in order to keep as many new animals out of the shelter as possible.

U.F.'s Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program trains veterinarians specifically to work with shelters to specialize in the challenges that homeless animals and shelter populations face.