LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – The Animal Foundation is putting out an urgent call for foster families to get dogs out of the shelter and stop the spread of canine influenza in the building.

So far, two dogs have tested positive for the highly contagious virus, and more than a hundred are showing symptoms of respiratory disease, some awaiting test results.

“Clinical signs are things like coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge, fever, lethargy, decreased appetite, and a lot of those can be indistinguishable from other bugs that cause respiratory disease,” said Animal Foundation chief veterinarian Casey Miller.

Now, the Animal Foundation is asking anyone with room in their hearts and homes to consider fostering a dog, at least for a week, so that the shelter can properly isolate and care for the 500 dogs currently in their care.

They say even the symptomatic dogs can be fostered.

“If they are showing symptoms, we do recommend that they are isolated from other dogs for three weeks from the time that we diagnosed them, or if they are not showing symptoms, to keep them away from other dogs for seven days just to make sure that they’re not harboring or incubating that disease,” said Miller.

After putting out the call for fosters late last week, the Animal Foundation already had more than 60 fosters over the weekend, and dozens more came in on Monday.

“The need was there, and we have the space,” said one family Monday, taking home a foster dog named Oscar. I have four kids at home, two rescue dogs, what’s a third?”

If you’d like to foster a dog, The Animal Foundation is providing food, leashes, and other supplies.

And if you end up falling in love with your foster dog, all adoption fees will be waived so they can officially join the family.


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