Dozens of dogs sickened at Rochester shelter test positive for kennel cough; Expected to recover

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The poor health of dozens of dogs at the city animal shelter has been blamed on kennel cough.

The afflicted dogs came down with gastrointestinal symptoms in mid-July at Rochester Animal Services on Verona Street. The shelter was closed amid testing.

On Aug. 1, the City of Rochester said kennel cough, which can be common in settings where dogs are grouped together, was to blame. Approximately 25 dogs are responding well to treatment and will soon be up for adoption.

Two dogs died during the outbreak, but veterinarian Dr. Kristen Braitkrus says it’s unclear whether their deaths are related. She started at RAS last week.

“Kennel cough is generally not fatal. It is very treatable and very manageable especially in a shelter population,” she said.

Dr. Braitkrus said this strain of kennel cough is more aggressive and not prevented by current vaccines.

The animal shelter will be open for pet adoptions by appointment only through August 28. Services are available to people looking to adopt between 12 to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

To make an appointment to adopt or foster a pet, you can call Rochester Animal Services at (585) 428-7274. Owners seeking lost pets can click here and finders of lost pets can click here.