Local shelter responds to viral post on sick puppies


By Meladi Brewer


GREENVILLE — The Darke County Animal Shelter addresses the sick puppies.

A Facebook post has gone viral after Ryan Hartmann expressed his concerns following the loss of his newest family member, Mika.

Mika was one of 15 puppies adopted at the Darke County Animal Shelter’s Open House July 30. In his Facebook post, Hartmann stated “only a few hours after getting her (his puppy) home, they realized that she was extremely lethargic, can not potty, and her belly was extremely distended.”

The post continues to say they took her to the vet as soon as possible, and she had been diagnosed with parvo. Parvo is an extremely infectious virus that is hard to kill, has an incubation period of 7 to 10 days, and has a high mortality rate.

“Transfer of disease is a big deal,” Shelter Director Robert Bair said. “We are working the data, we are working to constantly disinfect the building from top to bottom to prevent any spread, and we are doing all that we can to keep anybody else from getting sick or taking it home to their families too.”

Bair said they have attempted to contact the families of the 15 puppies twice since word got out; once when there was speculation and again when three cases were confirmed. He said after talking with a vet, it was confirmed there are over 100 different possibilities that could have happened, so to fully know the root cause is almost impossible.

“We are working to handle this as quickly as possible. We are also working to put policies into place for new bio-security,” Commissioner Matt Aultman said.

Bair added it is something they are working towards to make sure it doesn’t happen again. He said they will learn from the mistakes made and move forward to hope it never happens again.

“I can add nothing to make it any better. It is a tragedy no matter how you look at it, and I feel for the families that lost their puppies,” Bair said.

In a secondary Facebook post, Hartmann said “to be clear, we support the mission of shelters and understand they are hard at work.” He continued on to state the point being made was they wanted the shelter to be transparent, compassionate, and to notify the other adopters of the risk they may face.

“We are trying to do our due diligence and get things completed. We are in no way trying to hide this,” Bair said.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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