Part of Parma Animal Shelter temporarily closed due to illness in shelters across NE Ohio

PARMA - The dog section of the Parma Animal shelter was closed Monday due to a respiratory illness that has affected at least two other Northeast Ohio shelters in the last week.

Officials said there isn't a date set date when the dog portion of the shelter will reopen. There haven't been any sick animals reported at the shelter but officials closed it as a precautionary measure. 

Last week, the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter closed temporarily after five young dogs died from an unknown illness. It has still not reopened. The shelter has undergone extensive cleaning since it was closed last week.

The Cleveland City Kennel took precautions after it was discovered the stray dogs that died at the county shelter came from the kennel. A city of Cleveland spokespersons said sometimes the animals they take in are sick and the kennel works to ensure their full recovery. The dogs are given shots and are spayed or neutered. The average time a dog spends at the Cleveland City Kennel is around two days but sometimes the stay is longer for certain animals, officials said.

Typically, the Cleveland City Kennel holds anywhere from 90 to 100 dogs per day and sends 70 to 80 dogs out to various shelters, including Parma, each week when the kennel reaches capacity. The kennel also takes in dogs from local facilities when the other shelters are at capacity, Cleveland officials said. Parma Animal Shelter officials said they haven't received any dogs from the Cleveland City Kennel recently.

The Cleveland City Kennel has undergone extensive cleaning, including the vehicles the dogs are transported with to different shelters. The origin of the illness is still unknown, according to Cleveland city officials. Samples from the dogs that have died have been sent to the State for further investigation.

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