Mesa shelter hopes to avoid spread of bacterial infection with w - KMOV.com

Mesa shelter hopes to avoid spread of bacterial infection with waived fees

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A Mesa shelter hopes to avoid the spread of a bacterial infection that killed one dog already in the last week by waiving most adoption fees. (Source: MCACC) A Mesa shelter hopes to avoid the spread of a bacterial infection that killed one dog already in the last week by waiving most adoption fees. (Source: MCACC)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Mesa shelter hopes to avoid the spread of a bacterial infection that killed one dog already in the last week by waiving most adoption fees.

The Maricopa County Animal Care and Control said Saturday that a dog in their care died due to Streptococcus zooepidemicus at their East Valley Shelter near Rio Salado Parkway and Price Road.

[ORIGINAL STORY: MCACC taking action after dog dies of bacterial infection]

The bacterial infection, known as "strep zoo," attacks the upper respiratory systems of dogs and cats.

"What we are talking about here are dogs that are showing labored breathing, coughing, sneezing, discharge," said Jose Santiago with MCACC. "The two dogs euthanized were actually coughing up blood."

Two dogs have been euthanized and a third dog died yesterday after their press conference on Saturday. The dog on Saturday tested positive for strep zoo while the second euthanized dog did not.

The third dog is having tests conducted currently.

[RAW VIDEO: MCACC speaks about dog that died at Mesa shelter]

The threat to house pets is minimal with strep zoo, the sickness usually spreads in kennel-like environments. 

"We aren't calling this an epidemic right now but we are concerned," said Santiago.

To prevent any further spreading, the shelter will shut down all playgroups and non-mandated services.

The county is desperate to relieve overcrowding to avert a potential crisis. 

[SPECIAL SECTION: Critter Corner]

Most fees for adoptions are now being waived and officials said all of the animals at the shelter are being checked for the illness. Plus, a supply of antibiotics are going home with each adopted pet.

"They said they had over 500 dogs at the time, that's just a crazy amount," said Connor Griffin, who was at the shelter adopting a dog. "[The overcrowding] encouraged us to pull the trigger and come out."

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