Although shelters like Rescue Village do their best to identify illness and disease prior to intake, it’s not that simple. Best practice guidelines are followed that are intended to reduce the risk of illness due to exposure to infectious diseases. But even when these guidelines are followed to the letter, animals sometimes break with illness after they arrive at a shelter.
Rescue Village staff and volunteers follow strict disease control protocols when there are sick animals in the shelter. “The health of the animals in our care and the control of infectious disease are a primary focus at Rescue Village,” says Director of Veterinary Services, Megan Volpe, DVM. “We can’t assume anything. As soon as we identify a potential risk, it’s time to put on the PPE.”
Animals that are sick with something as severe as canine parvovirus (parvo) are quarantined in designated rooms away from other animals. A single staff member is assigned to tend to those rooms, and the animals within, each day. Staff tending to sick animals wear specific PPE; gloves, special gowns, and foot protection when working in a quarantine room. Interaction with sick animals is limited to diminish the spread of illness to healthy animals.