Centre battles animal illness

AN ANIMAL rescue centre is today determined to get over a major setback following an outbreak of kennel cough.

AN ANIMAL rescue centre is today determined to get over a major setback following an outbreak of kennel cough.

When it was discovered that six of the 15 dogs at the RSPCA centre in Martlesham were affected by the common but potentially fatal infection, the home was forced to close its doors to new dogs and keep its own lot in quarantine.

Today, Becky Fox, deputy manager at the Mill Lane centre, said the dogs are better now and they are just waiting for the all clear before they can carry on as normal.

She is hoping by mid-September things can get moving, but warned that the process of re-homing and taking new dogs in will be slow at first.

She said: “We are hoping to start normal working practice in mid-September. People can view the dogs again and the volunteers can begin taking them for walks again as they have only been allowed to exercise in a small area.

“There is quite a big backlog of dogs now so people will have to be patient with us as it will take a bit longer. It has been a knock-on effect.

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“We are looking forward to our open day and hope as many people come along and view the dogs.”

The outbreak occurred at the start of August and the dogs were put on a strict treatment programme for six weeks.

The disease, which is similar to the flu virus in humans, does not affect any other of the centre's animals and they can all still be re-homed.

Infectious bronchitis - known as kennel cough - is caused by a mixture of viruses and bacteria and is passed easily from dog to dog by droplet infection.

The RSPCA's open day was due to take place on September 7 but this has now been put back to October 5 when all the dogs should be better.

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