JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - From a bark to a cough, kennel cough has spread to another Jonesboro facility.
The Jonesboro Animal Control Center is suspending both adoption programs and taking in surrendered dogs because of an infectious illness.
According to a news release, the center temporarily suspended those practices because of the current kennel cough outbreak, an infectious tracheal bronchitis in dogs.
The illness is airborne and can spread quickly through sneezes and coughs.
"It hurts us because animal control, we enjoy working with the community," Animal Control's Sergeant Larry Rogers said.
They hope by suspending new dogs from coming in, they will protect from further infection.
"By limiting the animals coming in, we're hoping that we can keep the animals we've got now on a preventative program to keep them from getting sick," Rogers said.
Rogers said they will continue to serve the city by picking up strays.
"That is one of the services we are not stopping," Rogers said. "Right there that is part of our mission."
Any dogs or puppies picked up by Animal Control are being separated from the infected dogs. They are being put in office space, in hopes of preventing the spread.
If you're worried about your pet, Dr. Kevin Reed, with Vetcare Inc., said to watch for a cough.
"They start out usually with a non-productive cough, which means its dry and they may try to hack or retch at the end and nothing comes up," Reed said.
Reed is treating the dogs at Animal Control with steroids and other medicines.
"Most cases it's a mild infection," Reed said. "It runs its course. The concern is just that other susceptible dogs can acquire it."
Puppies and older dogs are prone to catch the virus and early detection is important.
Rogers asks for the public's support over the next few weeks.
"Being patient and being supportive, I apologize that we cannot do our low cost vaccinations clinics, but I do not want to take the chance of someone, one of their animals catching something," Rogers said.
The virus should run its course within the next 3 to 4 weeks. It's not affecting cats or humans.
When asked about euthanizing the dogs in the case that the virus gets worse, Rogers said that is the last thing they want to have to do.
Rogers just hopes the dogs get better soon.
Other services and programs at Jonesboro Animal Control are continuing.