Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lifestyle

Get RSM on your side at tax time.

Parvovirus outbreak at the pound

By johnboy - 14 July 2010 14

The Canberra Times has a story on efforts at the Domestic Animal Services pound (not to be confused with the RSPCA) to halt the spread of parvovirus by putting down seven dogs which have potentially been infected:

The canines will be euthanised this morning because they were exposed to another dog which had a confirmed case of the virus.

More than 30 other dogs at the Domestic Animal Services pound at Symonston have been quarantined.

This sort of ruthlessness is not going down well with the dog advocacy groups.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
14 Responses to
Parvovirus outbreak at the pound
Skidbladnir 5:30 pm 15 Jul 10

Okay, destroying\killing dogs is not the thing they spend most of their workday doing.
I’ll rephrase and qualify: ‘For unwanted dogs, DAS is primarily a facility for killing them.

They may have an active community of supportive rescuers which want dogs, and staff that probably don’t want to end animals’ lives, so have a natural preference to push for for the humane ‘sell’ option.
But they still have to perform the the job required by the Domestic Animals Act when they can’t deal with the unwanted dogs using the constructive option.

montezuma 4:29 pm 15 Jul 10

Skidbladnir, I agree with everything you say except the last sentence. Canberra has a very active rescue community and due to their efforts, and of course the cooperation of pound staff, more dogs go to foster carers and eventual homes than are euthanased.

Skidbladnir 11:23 am 15 Jul 10

p1 said :

Yeah, I understand that treatment might be expensive, but surely quarantine is relatively cheap? If they become symptomatic of course, that is a different thing.

Using space for quarantining impounded dogs takes up space that stray dogs would otherwise occupy.
Its a facility that only needs capacity for 50-ish dogs at a time (based on their budget estimate with Treasury), and only keeps dogs for one week before destruction.

Frankly if a citizen doesn’t want a dog killed, DAS finds someone to take it home.
Then treatment for disease becomes the owner’s private economic burden, not a public burden.

Dogs can be asymptomatic carriers, and parvovirus remains in a contaminated environment for 18 months, so if you own a dog at risk of being picked up by DAS, get it vaccinated (and microchipped so they can notify you if they find it) or it might be infected or a carrier when it comes home.
Also, you seem to be forgetting that DAS is primarily a facility for killing unwanted dogs.

p1 9:21 am 15 Jul 10

Gin02 said :

Treatment for parvo virus is expensive, but from memory none of the 7 dogs were actually showing signs of infection only that they had been in contact with a dog that had it. Seems a bit extreme…

Yeah, I understand that treatment might be expensive, but surely quarantine is relatively cheap? If they become symptomatic of course, that is a different thing.

damien haas 8:27 am 15 Jul 10

I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

johnboy 4:47 am 15 Jul 10

Link fixed. Thanks guys.

Gin02 8:08 pm 14 Jul 10

Treatment for parvo virus is expensive, but from memory none of the 7 dogs were actually showing signs of infection only that they had been in contact with a dog that had it. Seems a bit extreme…

laughtong 6:54 pm 14 Jul 10

The link in the story is not going to the Canberra Times article. It should be

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/pound-to-kill-seven-dogs-in-hope-of-stopping-virus/1884563.aspx

I am not happy about this, but concede that DAS don’t have a lot of options.

Skidbladnir 6:44 pm 14 Jul 10

BimboGeek said :

Wikipedia claims that this disease can be treated.
Has that been tried?

From The Gold Coast Bulletin
“A vaccination only costs $80 but it could cost at least $2000 to treat a vigorous case.”
The disease is spread through a dog’s faeces so when other dogs smell, touch or taste [the virus], they become contaminated.
Once an infected dog has contaminated their surroundings, [the virus] stays in the environment for 12 to 18 months.

I don’t mean to sound excessively cynical, but there are two forms of parvovirus, one very deadly (90% fatalities), and one not so mush (fatality in 10% of cases).
The pound only has a legal requirement to keep stray dogs for 7 days before euthanising, but with turnover in the vicinity of 2100 dogs per year, the potential costs of treatment at $2000 per infected dog would be:
a) Worst Case: consume the entire Domestic Animal Services annual budget several times over, or
b) Better Case: still cost $420,000 per year which is a shitload of money being set aside by a public facility to treat a preventable disease in a population of already doomed dogs.

Its a choice between a news article of “DAS to euthanise some dogs that would have been euthanised anyway (and a few others which might have gone home and put others at risk)” or “DAS keeps unwanted dogs alive for weeks providing high-quality medical treatment so it can euthanise them all later, all at taxpayer expense”.
Neither option is popular, but saying “we’re operating within a very tight budget” is easier when you’re trying to manage vocal minorities.

JB\Moderator: Why does your link to the Canberra Times article take us to the Impro Challenge flyer?
Link to actual article

BimboGeek 5:46 pm 14 Jul 10

Wikipedia claims that this disease can be treated. As long as you treat the symptoms there’s every possibility the dog will recover. Some dogs are also given a transfusion to kickstart their own immune response.

Has that been tried? Why do we always start with population control through euthanasia? If robots did this to humans we’d be furious!

grumpyrhonda 1:45 pm 14 Jul 10

p1 said :

This wouldn’t happen if the dogs were worth millions of dollars to their owners like racehorses. There would be a Commonwealth Government funded program over the next year to try and minimise disruption….

Got that right.

p1 12:59 pm 14 Jul 10

This wouldn’t happen if the dogs were worth millions of dollars to their owners like racehorses. There would be a Commonwealth Government funded program over the next year to try and minimise disruption….

djk 12:24 pm 14 Jul 10

As horrible as putting 7 dogs down seems, I would think any dog advocate who has seen what parvo does to dogs would be somewhat ok with taking extreme measures to stop its spread.

prhhcd 11:37 am 14 Jul 10

parvo is a horrible disease. Early intervention, as extreme as it may seem is the right way to handle it. Vaccinate, register and microchip your dogs and then this can’t happen to them.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site