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PACC resumes dog intake after dog who died tests negative for "Strep zoo"

Dog's cause of death remains unknown
PACC is once again accepting new dogs, but director Monica Dangler says the shelter is currently at "max capacity."
Posted at 10:10 PM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 01:22:44-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A dog was found dead in his kennel earlier this week at Pima Animal Care Center (PACC), but the staff is breathing a bit easier Thursday after the dog tested negative for Streptococcus zooepidemicus—or 'Strep zoo.'

Staff members were concerned the highly-infectious bacteria was the dog's cause of death and could have been spreading to other dogs at the shelter.

PACC director Monica Dangler says 'Strep zoo' is very rare, but is naturally carried by horses. It can be deadly for vulnerable dogs in high-stress settings, like shelters.

“It’s a very odd thing that will happen, for a dog to unexpectedly die and die in a kennel without us having some idea that there’s something wrong with them," Dangler said. "And that’s why we kind of went ‘full tilt’ and expected it to be ‘Strep Zoo.’

With that ruled out — PACC is now able to ease precautions it took this week, like removing dogs from isolation.

“[We were] giving all the dogs Doxycycline, so just in case,” Dangler said. “So we’re able to stop treating them, giving them that, which is, you know, a hefty amount of medications to medicate about 600 dogs.”

After the dog—named 'Chuck'—died over the weekend, PACC paused dog intake but is once again taking in new dogs.

However, the staff is urging people to hold on to found pets and try to find their owners, if possible.

“Because we are at max capacity,” Dangler said. “This afternoon we had four empty kennels for the whole shelter.”

According to Dangler, about 60 dogs come into PACC every day, on average.

The shelter is hosting an ‘Adoption Challenge’ Friday through Sunday, aiming to adopt 50 dogs each day, with families being entered to win dog-themed gift baskets.

Ryan Fish is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9 and comes to the Sonoran Desert from California’s Central Coast after working as a reporter, sports anchor and weather forecaster in Santa Barbara. Ryan grew up in the Chicago suburbs, frequently visiting family in Tucson. Share your story ideas and important issues with Ryan by emailing or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.