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City says temporary closure of animal shelter is related to a gastrointestinal illness affecting its dogs

The Rochester Animal Services Center at 184 Verona St.
Rebecca Rafferty
The Rochester Animal Services Center at 184 Verona St.

City of Rochester officials are releasing more information about the recent temporary closure of the city’s animal shelter on Verona St.

On Friday afternoon, the city said that the shelter closed on Thursday to address a gastrointestinal illness affecting dogs being housed there.

Officials said that the illness has affected 23 of the 49 dogs in the shelter’s care; two have died due to the illness, and the animals showing signs of illness are undergoing treatment.

The statement from City Hall said that all indications point to the illness being isolated to dogs at the shelter and not a concern for animals throughout the community. Officials said that if a resident is concerned about the health of their pet, they should contact their private veterinarian.

As of Friday afternoon, city officials said testing on the animals has been inconclusive and they continue to investigate what is causing the illness.

The Rochester Animal Services Shelter on Verona St. remains closed to walk-in visitors and animal surrenders as they address the health concern. City leaders anticipate that the shelter will reopen by August 1.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.