The San Francisco SPCA Confirms Contagious and Often Fatal Parvovirus Infecting Dogs at Occupy SF

Friday, November 11, 2011

The San Francisco SPCA has confirmed the presence of parvovirus in the Occupy SF camp. Parvo is a highly contagious and often fatal disease that mostly affects young dogs and puppies under the age of six months. A dog named "Hope" contracted the disease at Occupy SF and is currently receiving medical attention in the SF SPCA Veterinary Hospital at the Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center.

Puppies need a series of vaccines to be immune from parvo. Until they reach 16-weeks of age and have received the complete series of shots, puppies are not immune and should not be allowed to walk on grassy areas or be near other dogs that have not been vaccinated. Parvo can live on the ground for many months and unvaccinated puppies can easily catch parvo from contact with an infected dog or area. The symptoms of parvo are vomiting and bloody diarrhea.

Several suspected cases of kennel cough have also been reported at Occupy SF. Kennel cough is highly contagious especially in crowded, stressful conditions, as they are at Occupy SF. Symptoms include dry, "honking" cough, nasal discharge and general malaise that may progress to pneumonia. The SF SPCA is very concerned about the spread of kennel cough throughout Occupy SF.

In an effort to help keep the animals at Occupy SF healthy, the SF SPCA will be partnering with the San Francisco Animal Care and Control to host a veterinary clinic at no charge to Occupiers on Monday, November 14th, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. In light of these very serious outbreaks, we strongly encourage future protesters to not bring their animals to the SF Occupy camp and for current protesters to look for stable housing for their pets outside of the camp. If that is not an option, please take advantage of the free veterinary services being offered to reduce your pet's risk of illness. For more information on the clinic, call (415) 522-3564.