Cobb Animal Shelter temporarily closed to public due to case of strep zoo

the sign in front of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners buildingPhoto: Cobb County Courier/Larry Felton Johnson

The Cobb County Animal Services Shelter will be closed to outside visitors because of a confirmed case of Streptococcus zooepidemicus, or “strep zoo,” at the shelter. Strep zoo is a bacterial infection that according to VeterinaryExpert.com “causes a severe, bloody pneumonia in dogs, producing signs similar to those associated with toxic-shock syndrome in humans.”

So far only one animal has exhibited the symptoms.

The shelter will remain under quarantine until the entire animal population is treated with antibiotics and further testing confirms that the outbreak is over.

Strep zoo is highly contagious, can be deadly, and has become a common problem at animal facilities. Cobb County Animal Services Shelter has had two outbreaks in recent years.

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According to a news release from the county, “Shelter staff had suspected the case after a dog suddenly became ill and proactively quarantined a portion of the shelter.”

What if you’ve recently adopted from the shelter?

The news release from the county stated the following:

Shelter staff will contact those who have recently adopted animals, reschedule appointments and surgeries, and continue to care for the 285 animals in the shelter. Treatment of the population will start when the shipment of antibiotics arrives.

About Cobb County Animal Services

Cobb County Animal Services is part of the county’s Department of Public Safety.

The unit was created in 1971, and is currently under the leadership of Division Director Shana Luke.

According to the Cobb County Animal Services website:

The mission of the Cobb County Animal Services Unit is to enforce state laws and county ordinances pertaining to animal control and management; educate the community on responsible pet ownership and wildlife care and provide housing and care for homeless animals, while coordinating their adoptions when possible and humane euthanization when adoptions are not possible.

The shelter is directed by Jake Arnold, the Kennel Operations Manager, and two kennel supervisors. 

The veterinary operation is directed by  Dr. Amy Belew, and has two main functions: to spay and neuter a majority of the animals that are adopted from Cobb County Animal Services, and to treat sick or injured animals that are brought to the shelter.

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