Partial quarantine at Orange County animal shelter due to Strep Zoo

Orange County Animal Services is in a partial quarantine after a dog showed up infected with a potentially deadly disease.

Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) gets dogs in all sorts of ways. Police bring in dogs from animal abuse cases; pet owners turn over animals they can’t take care of anymore, and people drop off strays.

Bryant Almeida of Orange County Animal Services says a stray led to the closure.

"These animals are in our care," he said. "And we're going to do anything we can for them. We're going to save all these animals. We're going to protect them. And that's what we're doing."

The disease is called Streptococcus Zooepidemicus. Orange County Animal Services has seen other respiratory illnesses before, but this is its first run-in with Strep Zoo.

Dr. Kaitlin Guerrido, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at East Orlando Animal Hospital, says the symptoms can be severe.

"The main clinical symptoms that we tend to see are respiratory signs," Dr. Guerrido explained. "So, nasal discharge, sneezing, coughing, fever."

She also says OCAS handled this perfectly. That’s a very good thing because - although it’s rare - this disease has passed to humans before.

"They did the necessary steps. It could have happened to any shelter."

The 200+ dogs in OCAS care are getting antibiotics. And the facility isn’t letting any dogs in or out while those antibiotics work their magic.

The infected dog and his kennelmate got medicine, too, and they’re being held in isolation.

"He's actually doing fine," said Almeida. "He's in very stable condition. So we're, you know, fingers crossed. We're hoping that he pulls through."

Orange County Animal Services will open back up all the way on Monday.