Weather Forecast


Parvovirus outbreak prompts animal shelter to cancel open house

WILLMAR -- A recent outbreak of parvovirus disease in the Willmar area has prompted the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter to cancel an open house that was planned for Sunday.

Shelter officials said they wanted to protect the health of the dogs and puppies at the shelter and also avoid the possibility of spreading parvo to the public's personal pets. There are currently no dogs or puppies at the shelter who have the disease.

The next open house at the animal shelter will be hosted Nov. 11.

Canine parvovirus is a severe disease that's caused by a virus and spreads easily. Dogs that haven't been vaccinated for it or haven't yet received the full series of shots are most at risk. More than a dozen dogs have fallen ill with parvo in the past month and some have died. Local veterinarians said most of the cases are clustered in Willmar.

Parvovirus disease can be prevented with vaccination. Veterinarians are urging dog owners to make sure their pet's shots are up to date and to avoid areas where other dogs have been sick.

-- Anne Polta