INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The parvovirus has dog owners on high alert. One veterinarian technician believes it’s reaching a point of epidemic in the Circle City.
Pascale Hollings, a techinician at West Michigan Street Veterinarian Clinic, is sending a warning to all dog owners about it.
"With parvovirus in the community, especially the low-income community, which we serve most of the time, it has led to an incredible amount of deaths with puppies," said Hollings.
The parvovirus is a contagious virus. It’s spread dog to dog by contact with feces.
This year, West Michigan Street Veterinarian Clinic has treated 150 dogs with the virus and 53 just this month.
"I can’t tell you the number of clients we have who get puppies over and over and over again and they just die and die and die and it’s cruelty," Hollings said.
Indianapolis Animal Care Services is taking in about 50 dogs a week with the virus. It's something director Katie Trennepohl has never seen before.
"It’s happened both with owner surrendered animals, with stray animals, and even animals that have been found abandoned in boxes," Trennepohl said.
It’s easy to spot the virus once your dog gets it.
"When that happens it really prevents the dog from really absorbing nutrition. You get a lot of weight loss, blood in the stool, nausea," Holling said.
Before it gets to that point, she says owners need to vaccinate their dogs. She says if not, the virus will spread.
"If you move it doesn’t mean the virus stays behind. It goes with you on your furniture, your possessions, your clothing," Hollings said.
She doesn’t want to see anymore puppies die.
"How it ravages these little innocent puppies it’s terrible. It’s heartbreaking and it’s not their fault. They haven’t done anything wrong it’s on the owner," Hollings said.
West Michigan Street Veterinarian Clinic offers the vaccination for as low as $10.
They’ve partnered with Street Outreach Animal Response Initiative to pay for the parvo vaccination for low-income families.