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Search For Mysterious Canine Illness

It's possible that no one will ever know what caused the deaths of at least three local dogs and made some other ones violently ill.

All of the dogs under scrutiny had been to a Norwood pet facility at one point or another but we now know that facility has passed all possible tests with flying the question remains...what happened to the dogs?

Local 12's Rich Jaffe went to The Pet Spot in Norwood for a look at the concern and efforts made by the owners.

Over one thousand dogs come through The Pet Spot every week, some for boarding, some for daycare, and some for grooming.

In the last few weeks three of those dogs tied to either daycare and/or boarding contracted a violent hemorrhagic disease and died. At least one other dog with similar symptoms survived.

When owner Jeff Voelpel first got word about sick dogs, he quickly returned from a family vacation and got to work.

"Myself and one other person put respirators on and we literally bleached every square inch of the entire daycare facility.  Then we used another chemical called Envirosol to do the same exact thing to ensure anything bleach wouldn't kill Envirosol would making sure we were being as proactive as we could."

But concern quickly mounted with experts from across the country pitching in to try and find the killer.

The most recent tests have all come back negative and no additional dogs have gotten ill.

Voelpel says "I get e-mails, calls, Facebook posts every day from people all over the country saying hey I had something like this happen around my part of the country. So, I think we're going to start to see this is going to become much more obvious to everyone that this wasn't a pet spot thing but something new to worry about."

Joe Neary's boarding his dog here...while he's nervous about the problem, he has no problem with The Pet Spot.

"I'm still nervous," he says, "that no one knows what this is and it hits so suddenly and there's still no solution to it. I'm hoping that you shining a light on it will bring it to the attention of other dog owners and veterinarians so if there is a case like this it can be reported and maybe some commonality can be found on this and a cure." 

Voelpel says We're not going to put peoples dogs at risk period. and if it takes us closing down and taking a little bit of bad publicity to make sure peoples dogs are safe we were willing to do it and we'll do it every time."

As I explained when we first broke this story...the best the experts have been able to do is use the process of elimination to knock out a list of possible diseases and at this point about the only one left is something called circo virus.

While they're still testing for that one, it's possible we may never know what made these dogs sick.

In Norwood, Rich Jaffe, Local 12 News.

The Pet Spot shut down their daycare operation for 13 days while disinfecting and sanitizing during the search for answers.

During that time the boarding and grooming areas remained open because owners say they were able to isolate the dogs in those areas.




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