March 2, 2013

Quarantine lifted at Scarborough pet shop

By Edward D. Murphy
Staff Writer

SCARBOROUGH – The state has lifted its quarantine on a pet shop in Scarborough, nearly a month after a puppy from the store died of parvovirus and about a week after another dog from the store tested positive for the virus.

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In the front, Shelby, a Siberian husky from a Scarborough pet shop that died of parvovirus. Little Paws Pet Shop was quarantined for nearly a month following Shelby's death.

Provided photo

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The state put the Little Paws Pet Shop in Scarborough under quarantine because a puppy sold there died after testing positive for parvovirus and giardia. Photographed on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

Liam Hughes, the state's director of animal welfare, said in a release issued late Friday that all of the remaining dogs at the Little Paws pet shop had tested negative for parvovirus and giardia, an intestinal parasite that the puppy that died also had.

The quarantine was imposed Feb. 2, shortly after the Siberian husky puppy died. The husky was purchased from the store a little more than a week before it died.

Parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that is often fatal to dogs.

Last week, after another dog at the shop tested positive for parvovirus, the quarantine was extended until the beginning of March.

The status of that dog wasn't addressed in Hughes' 16-word press release and the store's owner, Barbara Cross, wouldn't say whether the dog lived or died.

Hughes didn't return a message seeking comment.

Cross said she doesn't believe that the second dog even had parvovirus.

She said the positive result came from an in-store "snap" test that can register a false positive if it's given too soon after a dog's parvovirus vaccination.

A follow-up test on a stool sample, she said, indicated that the dog did not have parvovirus. The state did not address that in its press release.

On Feb. 22, the state said it was waiting for results of testing on a dachshund, which died after it was bought from the store, to determine whether it had parvovirus or giardia.

Hughes's statement didn't address that case, either.

Cross said state officials told her that they were unable to test that dog for parvovirus and believe it died of hypoglycemia.

While the quarantine was in effect, Cross said, store workers tore up the carpet and resealed the concrete floors.

She said 11 dogs had been purchased by customers but could not leave the store because of the quarantine.

As of Friday evening, she said, six of those dogs had been picked up by their new owners and she expected the rest to go to their new homes in the next few days.

Cross said the dogs that got sick came from a breeder she hadn't dealt with before but who was recommended by a breeder she works with frequently.

The new breeder, she said, has been put on her "blacklist" and she won't buy dogs from that breeder again.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

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Additional Photos

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The state put Little Paws Pet Shop in Scarborough under quarantine because a puppy sold there died after testing positive for parvovirus and giardia. Above, a sign on the store's front window on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer


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