News Item | PAWS Chicago

Emergency dog fosters needed

Nov 17, 2015

The canine flu (CIV) continues to show up in dogs coming from Chicago Animal Care & Control, the city pound (CACC). But PAWS is committed to rescuing as many of these animals as possible, and we won't let a virus that's probably here to stay for a while stop us from saving lives!

Instead, we are reaching out to you for help. Many of the dogs coming from CACC have been exposed to CIV and could be contagious for up to 30 days. Others have already had the flu and are recovering. Many dogs will never show any symptoms, and for those who do, most suffer a mild form of the virus that's much like a human flu. 

But because we don't want to further spread this illness, we can't put any of these dogs into our healthy adoptable dog program until 30 days after they leave CACC.

The details:

Dogs with CIV typically have a persistent and lingering cough, fever and runny nose. They may be lethargic, act severely depressed or have a decreased appetite. This virus itself is not a risk, but it can spread into secondary infection, like pneumonia—particularly for dogs with weakened immune systems or those who are very young or senior in age.

What you need to know:

  • Although the illness is highly contagious in dogs, it cannot be transmitted to people and transmission to cats is considered highly unlikely
  • A seeming healthy dog can be shedding the virus (spreading to dogs)
  • An adopted dog might appear healthy and become symptomatic within a short period of time (the incubation period of the disease is 2-5 days before signs and symptoms are noticed)
  • Dogs can be contagious up to 30 days
  • Symptoms may persist after the 30 day period (coughing, sneezing, etc), however the animal should not be shedding the virus (spreading to other dogs)
  • Antibiotics are not effective in treating CIV but can be helpful in preventing secondary infections.

Read more about CIV here >>

Become a foster:

Foster dogs simply need a quiet, comfortable place to rest and lots of TLC until they are no longer contagious. If your foster dog gets sick, we will take him or her back into our medical center.Otherwise, after a few weeks, the fostered animal, who otherwise may never have been rescued, will leave your home and enter the PAWS Adoption Program, the next step to their new loving homes. 

Since the virus can easily be spread from dog-to-dog, ideal fosters will have a dog-free home or a home where the dog has already had CIV.

Also, CIV dogs must not be fostered in condos or other high-traffic homes where your foster will come in contact with other dogs. (Puppies and small dogs can be kept inside and paper trained.)

Foster pick-up for dogs exposed or recovering from CIV will take place at our Medical Center at 3615 W. 26th St. 

Please fill out our foster application here, and we will be right back in touch via email.

If you can’t foster a dog that may have been exposed to CIV, please share this page with anyone who may be able to help. Also, consider fostering another dog or cat, or donating to help us with medical costs.