Dogs test positive for canine influenza at West Valley Animal Shelter in Chatsworth

A number of dogs at the West Valley Animal Shelter in Chatsworth have tested positive for canine influenza, LA Animal Services announced in a community report Friday.

Canine influenza is a highly contagious upper respiratory disease caused by a virus known to infect dogs. While the virus does not attack humans, it can be spread to dogs by humans through touching infected areas.

“Even though the animals at our shelters are either fully or partially vaccinated for canine influenza, exposure to infected animals requires mitigating measures to control the spread,” the facility said in a statement.

The shelter said it’s immediately implementing the following steps “in an abundance of caution,” to prevent the spread of the virus to healthy dogs:

  • All dogs at the West Valley Animal Shelter shall be quarantined as ordered by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
  • Members of the public will not be allowed in the quarantined kennel areas
  • Dogs presented to West Valley Animal Shelter for intake will be triaged and those not exhibiting upper respiratory infection (URI) symptoms will be diverted to the East Valley Animal Shelter
  • Dogs exhibiting URI symptoms will be maintained at the West Valley Animal Shelter

Information on how many dogs have tested positive for the virus was not immediately available.

The West Valley Animal Shelter will continue to remain open during normal business hours, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment only Tuesday through Friday.

Owners may redeem their lost dogs but will be provided with instructions to quarantine at home until the county Department of Public Health releases them from quarantine.

Dogs at the shelter will still be available for adoption to L.A. County residents. But owners with dogs at home should refrain from bringing a new dog home at this time. 

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

For more information on canine influenza, visit the county’s public health website or call your veterinarian for information on getting your dog vaccinated, or how to keep your dog safe from the virus.

To foster a healthy dog or adopt another animal from the West Valley Animal Shelter, you can make an appointment online or call 888-452-7381.

Dogs test positive for canine influenza at West Valley Animal Shelter in Chatsworth