Burlington County pet store closes after parvovirus found: Officials

- The lights are out and cones with "no trespassing" line the entrance to the Puppy Barn in Springfield Township.  The marquee reads the store is close.

The Burlington County Freeholder Director said in a news release, “Unfortunately recent inspections by the County Health Department and the Burlington County SPCA have determined that canine parvovirus, a highly contagious and potentially deadly disease, is present at the facility."
 
"It's a very common virus that is everywhere," said Jessica Kaplan. She is a doctor at the Vorhees Veterinary Center.  We asked her to explain parvovirus.
 
"The cases that we see of this very terrible virus usually in unvaccinated puppies ages 4 to maybe even 16 weeks of age. It can happen with an older dog as well. Most of the time from a shelter or a heavily populated area that is really getting exposed."  She says they try to catch it by being aggressive with vaccinations but  it's a hearty virus.
 
"We try to get shelters to have really nice cleanliness and we have protocols to deactivate the virus but even then it's spread through fecal matter. Spread meaning anything that touches a piece of poop or anything that is affected can now be sniffed, licked or somehow into the oral cavity of a puppy and then it spreads," said Doctor Kaplan.
 
County officials say the owners of the Puppy Barn informed them that they plan to permanently close the place.
 
"In a shelter situation it's much more difficult because you have constant in and out flow of other dogs and cats so in those situations a lot of time what needs to happen is they close the shelter," said Dr. Kaplan.
 
Officials say the animals are now at the Burlington County Animal Shelter. The will be available for adoption once the quarantine is lifted and veterinary clearance is given.
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