Restrictions on access prompted by an outbreak of canine influenza at two Los Angeles city animal shelters have been lifted, meaning potential pet-adopters can again visit the animals at shelters in Chatsworth and West Los Angeles.
An unspecified number of dogs at the West Valley and West Los Angeles shelters tested positive for canine influenza in October and November, prompting safety protocols that barred people from visiting the dogs.
“After much hard work by our staff and the medical team, the dogs at our L.A. Animal Services Centers in West L.A. and West Valley are cleared from quarantine by the L.A. County Veterinary of Public Health,” said Dana Brown, general manager of city Animal Services, said in a statement.
Animals at the shelters are vaccinated against canine influenza, however, much like the COVID-19 vaccine for people, the shots don't necessarily mean the dogs won't become infected. That means new dogs brought into the shelter can potentially infect the animals already there.
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Vaccinated animals, however, are less likely to become severely ill.
While residents can again visit animals at the shelter, city officials said some rules will remain in place. Dogs from the shelters can be fostered, but those who aren't fully vaccinated must remain at home and in quarantine until they are. People who already have dogs at home should also refrain from bringing home a new dog from the shelters, unless all of the animals are fully vaccinated.
Cats, kittens, rabbits and other small mammals are not affected by canine influenza and are available for adoption as usual.