In an effort to combat the risk of a potential outbreak of streptococcus zoopidemicus (Strep Zoo), officials at the City of San Bernardino Animal Shelter are urging residents to adopt a dog or offer their homes as a temporary foster home for the animals. The Shelter is facing overcrowding which increases the danger of a potential outbreak.
Strep Zoo is a bacterial infection affecting animals in shelters. The highly contagious animal disease is transmissible to pets and can be particularly fatal for dogs. The Jurupa Valley shelter operated by Riverside County Animal Services recently reported an outbreak of this illness. San Bernardino Animal Shelter has not been affected by the disease, but due to the high number of animals in the facility, the risk of an outbreak is an increasing concern.
Currently, the shelter is 100 dogs over capacity and was consistently overfilled in 2022 as well, with a 33% increase (1,300 animals) in the number of animals compared to recent previous years. As a result, multiple animals are being housed in kennels together, which is less than ideal.
“We have so many wonderful dogs waiting for their new families,” said San Bernardino Animal Services Director, Kris Watson. “We are asking the public to open their homes and hearts to some animals in need so that we can better protect the animals at the shelter from diseases like Strep Zoo.”
By taking action to adopt or foster a pet, the public can play a crucial role in protecting the animals and reducing the risk of a potential disease outbreak.
In addition, animal shelter workers (ASWs) are at disproportionate risk of moral injury, secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, and burn-out, according to Frontiers in Veterinary Science. Please spread the word about this urgent matter to help and bring hope to both human and non-human neighbors alike.
The Shelter is open to the public Tues-Sat from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm and is located at 333 Chandler Place, San Bernardino, CA 92401. For more information, residents can contact San Bernardino Animal Services at (909) 384-1304. Those interested in helping are encouraged to visit sbcity.org to see all available dogs or to visit the Shelter during business hours.