OHS Deploys Emergency Response Teams to Bay Area

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OHS volunteer Marilyn Happold-Latham working with the dogs in Oakland.

OHS is deploying members of the emergency response team to the Bay Area to help with a canine influenza outbreak. The illness was first identified at Oakland Animal Services on June 19 and quickly spread to other dogs at the shelter. Animals who were exposed to the virus were transferred to East Bay SPCA and OHS before the dog flu was identified at Oakland Animals Services.

The 18 dogs who were transferred to OHS have been isolated and are being monitored and treated. Dog adoptions were paused for nine days while other dogs in the shelter were tested, monitored and vaccinated.

In the Bay Area, an off-site emergency shelter has been set up to isolate and care for more than 100 dogs who have tested positive for dog flu or were exposed to the virus. The OHS team will assist with the daily care and enrichment of the dogs.

“An emergency can take many different forms,” says Sharon Harmon, OHS President and CEO. “In this case, we were able to quickly mobilize a response team just as we would for any natural disaster or other large scale rescue.”

This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Disaster Response at OHS

The Oregon Humane Society has more than 130 staff and volunteers who are certified in Emergency Animal Sheltering. This means they have completed FEMA course work, participated in drills and have advanced animal handling skills. Additionally, the OHS technical animal rescue team can rappel down cliffs, climb trees and maneuver through challenging environments to rescue pets in distress.

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