Chihuahuas dumped in Stone and Taney Counties contract Parvo virus

Area animal rescue organizations are helping take care of the sick animals. Some of the dogs are in area veterinary clinics fighting the virus.
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 5:09 PM CDT
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TANEY COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - Veterinarians diagnose some of the 50 abandoned chihuahuas throughout Stone and Taney Counties with the Parvo virus.

Area animal rescue organizations are caring for the sick animals. Some of the dogs are in area veterinary clinics fighting the virus.

Two of the sick dogs that Rescue One in Springfield accepted are now being cared for at Ozark Veterinary Clinic. Veterinarians believe they will be some of the lucky ones.

“We hope so,” Veterinarian Dr. Richard Linn said. “[Parvo] is very serious. It’s something that we see, most often in the summer months, especially where there are a lot of puppies that are susceptible.”

At least two of the other abandoned chihuahuas have died, while others are very sick. Dr. Linn said Parvo has a 70-80 percent survival rate, if it’s caught early and treated properly. Veterinarians say people who may have an animal with Parvo in their home need to keep it away from other pets because it is very contagious and can live on surfaces for years.

“If the dog has a virus, make sure that you take the pet to your veterinarian as quickly as possible,” Dr. Linn said.

Rescue One President Ellen Dowdy said it is frustrating so many dogs were dumped and are sick, especially because there are organizations in the Ozarks that can help care for unwanted animals.

“The rescue community is upset because that they could have just contacted rescued and even though rescues are full to the brim, everybody can make room for chihuahuas because they’re just little and easy and adoptable,” Dowdy said.

Dowdy said it is possible the previous owner(s) of the abandoned chihuahuas were aware of the Parvo outbreak before dumping the dogs.

“It takes about three to ten days for that exposure to start showing up and so it is very possible that they had an outbreak and got rid of all the animals before they started dying,” Dowdy said.

Law enforcement is investigating this incident, with animal neglect as a possible charge.

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