Vets ID mysterious illness that caused animals to get sick at local animal shelter

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A Cobb County animal shelter has learned that several animals were infected with a bacterial infection that affects the respiratory system.

Officials at the Cobb County Animal Services Shelter said two dogs were diagnosed with Streptococcus zooepidemicus, or “Strep Zoo.”

Officials said they believe one dog has died of the infection and several other dogs and cats are being treated for symptoms. They said they believe the infection came in with an animal dropped off at the shelter.

The shelter will be closed until after the animals are treated with antibiotics and no symptoms appear among the population for two weeks.

“Our Animal Services personnel dealt with a strep zoo outbreak a year ago,” said Public Safety Director Randy Crider. “They quickly contained the outbreak then, and their experience will help them keep the infection from spreading this time. It is important to us to save the lives of the dogs and cats we are caring for.”

Veterinarians are monitoring the shelter population while staff members care for the animals.

Earlier this week, some people came to the shelter not knowing pets were sick.

Lance Dudkowski showed up at the shelter, which had a “closed” sign posted, to pick up a cage after an Animal Control officer picked up some stray cats near his home.

“I hope they’re okay,” Dudkowski said. “I hope they can figure out what’s wrong with it and find an easy cure for it.”

The county says due to COVID-19, the shelter is open by appointment only, and no drastic changes were needed to close down.

As of now, there are 94 dogs and 163 cats in the building.