'We try to ensure they are all healthy', say City Dogs Homes as pets die days after being re-homed
MANAGER Vickie Phillips has defended the City Dogs Home after two families came forward to say the dogs they rehomed died days later from a virus.
She says steps are always taken to ensure dogs at the home in Bucknall are in a healthy condition when they are taken in by families.
She has spoken out after Christine and John Moseley said their nine-month-old Alaskan Malamute Bear died from canine parvovirus.
The couple contacted The Sentinel after hearing how 43-year-old Paula McClelland's adopted Staffie-Labrador cross Bailey had to be put to sleep after contracting the highly-contagious disease.
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But Vickie said it was very rare for their dogs to contract parvovirus.
She added: "People have to remember when they adopt a dog that it has come from a life on the streets.
"They are an unknown quantity and of course we try to spot any problems and our staff keep a close eye on the dogs for any health problems.
"They may never have been vaccinated before coming to us and it can affect them.
"A lot of people just want to grab the dog and go without reading all the relevant information.
"We do all we can to ensure our dogs are fit and healthy before being rehomed.
"Out of the hundreds of dogs that come to us one or two are bound to have the parvovirus and we take it very seriously.
"There are no animal sanctuaries that don't have these diseases from time to time."
However Christine, aged 63, said more should be done to ensure no other families go through the heartache of losing a dog to the virus.
The former pottery worker, of Saltdean Close, Normacot, bought Bear from the City Dogs Home in Bucknall for £100 but within days the puppy had gone off his food and was being sick.
She said: "It was just after Christmas and I felt that I could give a dog a good home so I went up with my daughter and granddaughter.
"As soon as I walked through the gates I spotted Bear and his eyes just said 'take me with you'. But a few days later it became clear he was ill.
"We took him to a vet who confirmed he had parvovirus.
"Bear spent 10 days in quarantine and was put on a drip but he still deteriorated.
"Sadly we were told there was no hope for Bear and had to make the heartbreaking decision to have him put down."The family had spent close to £3,000 on vet bills by the time Bear died in January including a £1,300 injection.
The money was eventually reimbursed by Pet Plan Insurance taken out at the shelter.
Christine said: "The virus can remain airborne for ages so we couldn't get another pet.
"We had to clean everything from the walls, floors, ceiling, furniture and driveway. Losing a pet is losing part of the family."
However, the dog shelter maintain that they had close contact with the family during that time.