A health probe has been launched at a kennels in South Tyneside after two dogs died from a highly contagious virus within days of each other.
One dog at Cleadon Kennels had to be put to sleep yesterday after another – a border collie, called Cassie, who had been re-homed for little over a week – died from Parvovirus on Saturday.
The kennels, which are based in Cleadon Lane – on the same site as West Hall Boarding Kennels – remain open as usual.
Sarah Mulvain, 23, from Raeburn Road, Whiteleas, took home eight-year-old Cassie on Tuesday, July 7.
She said: “I have a six year-old son, Max, and we are devastated. I have been advised by the vets not to take in another dog for a year as a safety precaution.
“How do you tell your son he can’t have another pet? I don’t want anyone else to go through what we went through.”
How do you tell a six-year-old boy he can’t have another pet?Sarah Mulvain
A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “We can confirm that the council’s environmental health team is currently investigating the circumstances around the death of two dogs, which had recently arrived at Cleadon Kennels from outside the borough. Tests have confirmed that both dogs had the Parvovirus.
“One dog died shortly after being rehomed by a local family.
“As a result, all the strays at Cleadon Kennels were tested for the virus.
“All but one tested negative. The infected dog has since been put to sleep.
“Early investigations suggest that the infected dogs contracted the virus before arriving at the kennels. Inquiries are continuing into the source of the virus.”
Kennels were scrutinised after being called into question
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and life-threatening viral disease.
It can be transmitted to any person, animal or object that comes into contact with an infected dog’s feces.
It can live in an environment for months and is common in unvaccinated dogs.
Cleadon Kennels came under scrutiny for its treatment of animals in April after a 11,000-name petition was launched calling on council chiefs to end contracts with them.
The petition, launched by the Northern Animal Welfare Co-operative urged South Tyneside, Sunderland and Gateshead councils to stop working with kennel bosses due to concerns over poor conditions for dogs cared for at the site.
The kennels claimed it was the victim of a hate campaign and kept its council contracts after inspectors found no problems at the centre.
Environmental health officers said in April that the facility ‘meets the requirements of animal welfare legislation and that there was no evidence of conditions that would warrant formal action’.