DE SOTO, Iowa -- State Veterinarian Jeff Kaisand confirmed multiple cases of canine brucellosis in central Iowa.
The diseased dogs were purchased at an auction held by commercial breeding facility Double G Kennels, also known as iowapuppies.com.
This disease is often spread through contact with infected birthing tissue and objects that have infected fluids on them.
Kaisand said canine brucellosis can even be spread from infected dogs to humans.
“So that’s why we treat it conservatively, the way we have to try and find all the dogs that came from the sale and make sure owners are notified. We also issued quarantines to make sure that we stop the spread of the disease,” Kaisand said.
AHeinz57 Pet Rescue bought 32 of the more than 200 dogs sold at the auction with $10,000 from an anonymous donor.
Amy Heinz said they spent an average of $312 per dog at the auction and will pay well over $500 per dog to spay or neuter, vaccinate, other medical care and microchipping.
She said when they are ready for new homes, they will be adopted out for $195 each.
Heinz said someone contacted them about the auction and said this particular commercial breeder was closing and would have some of the older dogs up for adoption, which is why they decided to attend.
“Our goal is to get the dogs out of that lifestyle so that they don’t have to continue to be bred over and over again until they die. It’s just not a good life for dogs, so we go to the auctions. It’s our only opportunity to get them out of there, so we do have to purchase them,” Heinz said.
Heinz said all of the dogs in the rescue’s care tested negative for the disease in the first round of tests.
“None of them were even suspect positive so that’s a good thing because that would have meant 60 days more quarantined. So big sigh of relief. I am confident that we will come out of this OK,” Heinz said.
Heinz said they had to quarantine their adoption building for an additional 30 days.
“It means that we are not allowed to take in any stray dogs or cats, so Dallas County and anything west of here, there’s no help for the animals at this moment which is really sad. We can't take any owner surrender dogs.”
Gracie's Place Grooming and Boarding right next door to Aheinz57 Pet Rescue is not affected, as the dogs have been kept separate.
Heinz said the most difficult thing about this disease is dogs can’t get rid of it like humans can and usually have to be put down to prevent the spread to other dogs or humans.
“They spent their lives in these little tiny boxes breeding over and over and over, and to finally get out and get some freedom and have to die would be so tragic and awful,” Heinz said.
During the quarantine, AHeinz57 is asking for donations of additional supplies:
tall kitchen garbage bags
These items can be dropped off at Gracie’s Place or local Bone-a-Patreat locations, Brown Dog Bakery in Ankeny, or you can contact your AHeinz57 volunteer friends to coordinate a drop off with them.