BARK open after virus concerns

IT IS business as usual once again for Benvarden Animal Rescue Kennels (BARK) after concerns that two dogs were diagnosed with Parvovirus.

Highly contagious, the virus is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their faeces and can result in severe vomiting, dysentery and even death.

As a precautionary measure and following veterinary advice, the kennels on Benvarden Road were closed for a week to ensure the virus had been contained.

Speaking to the Times on Monday USPCA’s Shelter Manager at Benvarden, Louise Neill explained: “As a rescue centre we get homeless dogs from other pounds and unfortunately we discover two of these dogs had the Parvovirus.

“At BARK we have two ‘wards’, the isolation and the rehoming kennels. The virus was located and contained in the isolation ward which was immediately shut down and all the relevant precautions we could do were taken.

“Thankfully none of the rehoming dogs in the other ward were affected however as a precautionary measure and following further advice from the vets we decided to close the kennels for a week anyway until we could be absolutely sure. That week was up on Sunday and so we are opening again to the public as of tomorrow (Tuesday).”

Thanks to Louise’s strict healthy and safety measures, the virus has since been eradicated and BARK have been given the all clear.

Lousie added: “With every dog that comes into BARK we always place them in the isolation ward for the first 10 days to ensure that they are ok and not carrying any disease - as with this incident.

“Most of the time they are given the all clear however with these two dogs we were instantly alerted and recognised the signs of Parvovirus which include lack of energy, vomiting and bloody diarrhoea.

“This virus is quite common in kennels especially where there are rescue dogs and only highlights the need for dogs to be fully vaccinated and their treatment updated.

“The two dogs in question were not vaccinated and had to be destroyed. But thankfully all the other dogs had been vaccinated and therefore did not contract the virus.

“Dog owners need to be made aware that this virus is air-born and can be caught from anywhere. Their dog may seem happy and healthy but if they are not vaccinated and come into contact with another dog which has the virus then the outcome could be fatal, especially in younger pups.

“We have worked around the clock to get the kennels back open to the public with as little inconvenience as possible. And if something positive can come out of this it is the absolute need for people to look after and vaccinate their animals!”

‘BARK’ (Benvarden Animal Rescue Kennels ) an independent rescue and re-homing facility for companion animals. For more information or to rehome a dog call 07518 370 478 or go online at www.benvardenkennels.co.uk or visit their Facebook site for pictures and information of dogs which need a loving home.