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Several Dogs at West Valley Animal Shelter Test Positive for Canine Influenza

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Several dogs at the West Valley Animal Shelter in Chatsworth have tested positive for canine influenza, LA Animal Services announced Friday.

The exact number of dogs that tested positive was not released. All the animals that have tested positive are partially or fully vaccinated for canine influenza, according to Agnes Sibal-von Debschitz, the public information director of LA Animal Services.

Canine influenza is a highly contagious upper respiratory disease caused by a virus known to infect dogs, Sibal-von Debschitz said. Though the virus does not attack humans, it can be spread by humans to dogs. 

The West Valley Animal Shelter will implement several measures in an attempt to control the spread of canine influenza, including quarantining all dogs at the shelter per Los Angeles County Department of Public Health orders and forbidding members of the public from entering quarantined kennel area, Sibal-von Debschitz said.

All dogs presented to the shelter will be triaged, and those that do not show symptoms of an upper respiratory infection will be sent to the East Valley Animal Shelter in Van Nuys. 

Dogs showing symptoms of an infection will be maintained at the West Valley Animal Shelter. 

Dogs at the shelter will still be available for adoption to Los Angeles County residents. Owners may also recover lost dogs at the shelter, though they will be provided with instructions to quarantine at home until the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health lifts the quarantine. 

Cats, kittens, rabbits and other small mammals are not affected by canine influenza and are available for adoption at the West Valley Animal Shelter as usual.

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