VALLEY VIEW, Ohio-- Employees at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter have been cleaning the facility nearly non-stop since it shut down earlier this week.
The closure is because five young, stray dogs died recently from a respiratory illness. It will remain closed Thursday and Friday.
“We are still cleaning,” said Mindy Naticchioni, shelter administrator. “It is taking us a little longer than expected.”
Dan Perry and his wife adopted a 3-month-old dog named Fiona last week. She got sick Saturday and is now in an oxygen chamber at a local animal hospital. Perry said he was told Fiona has pneumonia.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Perry said. “We had no idea she was so sick.”
Others, including, Julie Bryan, had similar experiences.
Bryan said she adopted her dog in the last month and had to return him to the shelter twice because he was very ill. She said she is on a tight budget and couldn’t afford the medical care.
“They told me he is now doing better and I am hoping I can get him back,” Bryan said.
Shelter officials said they are still trying to determine exactly what caused the dogs to get ill.
“We know it’s a very bad respiratory illness,” Naticchioni said. She added they are working with state and local experts to determine the exact cause.
Larry Dlott and his wife adopted a pet a few days ago, but were not able to bring her home yet.
“We should be able to get her out by next week,” Dlott said. “I am very impressed with everything they are doing here. I know they are trying very hard.”