Important Notice: HAP Wilmington Dog Adoptions Suspended Due to CANINE INFLUENZA Outbreak (UPdated)

Sick Lenny

Local partner shelters and veterinarians facing similar cases of illness

We regret to report Humane Animal Partners Wilmington is currently combating an outbreak of a subtype of Canine Influenza A (H3N2), with 30 confirmed cases to date. Dog adoptions, intakes and surrenders, as well as our Doggy Day Out program, are suspended at our Wilmington location until further notice. All other services continue to remain open, including our wellness and spay/neuter clinics, as well as off-site wellness events, including upcoming vaccine clinics. Dog adoptions from foster, as well as Rehoboth dog adoptions, continue to remain open as we have had no symptoms among these populations. Cat adoptions also remain open at all three Delaware locations, as well as through our foster program.

This difficult decision allows for the proper care, treatment, and recovery for the dogs affected by this outbreak, as well as for the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and visitors.

On Friday, July 12, State Veterinarian, Dr. Karen Lopez, confirmed three separate Delaware shelters and one local rescue have been affected by this outbreak. Due to the severity of this illness, they have issued a control order mandating that all Delaware shelters and rescues suspend out-of-state transports, as well as out-of-state intakes or adoptions for the next 30-days. This means no dogs in Delaware can be adopted to or surrendered from out-of-state, regardless of their present health. If you are a Delaware resident, you are still able to adopt dogs from our Rehoboth center, as well as dogs from foster care. This control order does not apply to cats. 

Canine influenza does not affect humans but is a highly contagious respiratory illness that spreads quickly in environments where dogs are in close contact, such as shelters. The virus spreads through air droplets and can transfer by coughing, sneezing, and barking. Our veterinary team is working tirelessly to manage and contain the outbreak, providing the necessary care to affected dogs and working with our emergency partners Blue Pearl in cases that are necessary. Kennel staff have altered cleaning and care protocols to slow the spread of the illness and ensure safety, and HAP’s medical staff is complying by the state control order.

Read the full: State of Delaware Department of Agriculture Control Order.

With viral respiratory cases swiftly on the rise, we advise the public to take precautions with their dogs at this time in order to limit the risk of illness. We do not recommend the use of dog parks or other close-contact outdoor settings until the outbreak has been suppressed.

recognizing the symptoms

If you have a dog at home, it’s crucial to be vigilant for any signs of respiratory illness. Common symptoms can include:

  • Persistent coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Eye discharge
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Fever

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, seek veterinary attention promptly. Early intervention can make a significant difference in the prognosis and recovery of your pet.

recommended steps if a virus is suspected

  • Isolate the Affected Dog: Keep your dog away from other pets to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Consult Your Veterinarian: Contact your veterinarian to discuss symptoms and follow their advice. They may recommend bringing your dog in for an examination.
  • Maintain Good Hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly after handling your dog, and disinfect any items or surfaces they have come into contact with as many illnesses spread through air, contaminated surfaces, saliva, feces, etc.
  • Avoid Public Spaces: Do not take your dog to parks, grooming salons, or any other public areas until they have fully recovered and your vet has confirmed it is safe to do so.

How You Can Help

1. Spread Awareness: Share this information with other pet owners to help them recognize and respond to signs of respiratory illness in their dogs.

2. Donate: Your support helps us provide the best care for our animals, especially during emergencies like this. Our Helping Hands fund was created to provide critical care for animals residing at HAP. Donate to Helping Hands now to make an impact today. You can also Venmo us: @hapde

3. Amazon Wishlist: Because we’ve had to alter our cleaning protocols, we’re using supplies at a faster pace—everything from disinfectant to shoe covers. By purchasing items from our Amazon Wishlist, you’re helping to ensure we have everything we need to keep our pups comfortable while we combat this illness. 

4. Foster: During this time, we have an increased need for dog-free foster homes to help our dogs recover or to accommodate new emergency foster cases. Learn more about fostering with HAP and apply here.  

HAP’s Commitment to Safety

The health and safety of our animals and community are our top priorities. During this HAP Wilmington closure, we will be:

  • Providing intensive care and treatment to affected dogs, partnering with Blue Pearl for emergency treatment where necessary
  • Administering Canine Influenza vaccinations for all dogs in our care, including foster dogs
  • Enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols
  • Monitoring the health of all animals in our care
  • Consulting with veterinary experts to implement the best practices for outbreak management
  • Suspending all dog transports to/from this facility

Thank you for your understanding and support during this challenging time. We understand that this closure may be inconvenient, but it is necessary to prevent the further spread of the virus and ensure the well-being of our animals. We will continue to update you on the situation as it progresses and let you know as soon as we reopen our dog adoption to the public. Together, we can ensure a safe and healthy environment for all our beloved animals. 

Happier Together

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