Del. Animal Adoption Center Closes After Dogs Die from Mystery Virus

The Kent County First State Animal and SPCA temporarily halted its adoptions due to a mystery virus that claimed the life of two dogs.

“Saturday morning we came in and discovered that two dogs had passed away overnight from two different sections of our building,” said Kevin Usilton, the executive director of the center.

Officials told NBC10 it appears a dog brought in a virus from the outside. A lab is currently testing the two dogs that died. Not wanting to take any chances, the center, located on Shelter Circle in Camden, Delaware, decided there would be no more dog adoptions until they confirmed conditions were safe.

“If we have some kind of fatal, contagious disease, we do not want our animals going out into our community and infecting our canine community with any kind of virus,” Usilton said.

Volunteers and staffers are currently scrubbing the center down top to bottom, using a bleach and soap mixture on all surfaces, including concrete.  Veterinarians are also checking on the dogs at the center to make sure they didn’t catch the mystery virus. The vets told NBC10 they don’t believe any of the dogs that were adopted in the last few weeks were exposed.

Although officials have not yet identified the virus, First State officials said they believe they’ve taken all the correct precautions and have checked out every dog at the center. They expect to resume dog adoptions Tuesday morning.

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