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East Bay Animal Shelters Cope With Outbreak Of Canine Influenza

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) -- The Oakland Animal Shelter and the East Bay SPCA are dealing with over 100 dogs that have been sickened with canine influenza during a recent outbreak.

Other East Bay shelters are feeling the impact as the Oakland closes its doors to incoming dogs.

The Berkeley Animal shelter is one of many agencies accepting healthy dogs. Healthy is the key word, as they monitor every dog coming in to make sure they're not showing any symptoms of the dog flu.

The Berkeley Animal Services Center is near capacity as it accepts dogs that were turned away in Oakland.

Berkeley now has a little more than 30 dogs, just six shy of its 36 animal limit. Shelter Manager Amelia Funghi says almost half of the dogs are being quarantined.

"Every dog that's coming in is put in isolation and we are observing it for seven days to see if there are any symptoms," explained Funghi.

The goal is to prevent the flu from spreading to one dog after another, like it has at the Oakland Animal Shelter and East Bay SPCA.

"That's the scary thing with canine influenza: it spreads very quickly," said Funghi.

With nearby shelters also at capacity or near capacity, animal care organizations are also reaching out to volunteers for help.

Shelby and Caitlin Carpenter came by the Berkeley shelter to take Baby home. They are going to be foster parents for the first time. Shelby Carpenter hopes taking at least one dog out of the shelter will give another dog a chance to find a forever home.

According to those at the Oakland shelters, the virus has not spread to dogs outside the facilities. However, they do advise dog owners to consult with their veterinarian to consider getting a flu shot for their dog.

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