Adenovirus plagues city of Pampa

PAMPA, Texas---A vicious virus spreading among dogs at the Pampa animal shelter is leaving the community dealing with a big problem.

The shelter is home to about three dozen dogs.

You could hear their barks from the parking lot but in one week, those barks will be muted.

"If they are not adopted, they will all be put down," Faustina Curry with the Pampa Animal Welfare Center said.

This unfortunately is the solution after the adenovirus took the lives of at least 10 dogs there.

"They started with kennel cough and then pneumonia and then the adenovirus hit them too and it would really just destroy their lungs."

Dr. Merten Pearson with Noah's Ark Pet Hospital says it's a contagious virus.

"It's a pick-up and carry it around kind of bug," he said. "Because it is so durable in the environment it's easy for it to get transmitted and doesn't die gracefully."

Curry says it's a problem that's been plaguing the shelter here for months.

"There would be a period where everyday or two there would be a dead dog in the cages," she said.

Pampa Animal Control Director Monty Montgomery believes the virus started with one of the dogs they picked up.

"Some how or another we fostered an animal that had the virus and it just managed to stay," he said.

We're told the virus is extremely hard to kill too.

"Lots of things that would normally disinfect the area won't disinfect this bug," Pearson said.

Washing down cages won't get rid of the virus either.

The plan the shelter has come up with includes a 48-hour complete sanitation process.

Unfortunately, once the procedure begins, even the healthy dogs won't get a second chance at life.

"None of the animals that were in that building will be allowed to come back in," Curry said.

This is to avoid the possibility of cross contamination.

Until the process begins next weekend, residents still have time to adopt.

"We're looking for foster homes and people to adopt animals that have shown no signs of illness," Curry said.

The Pampa City Commission will debate in May whether to approve the construction of a new shelter.