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Canine flu has Delavan resort taking calls from Chicago pet owners looking to board their dogs

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WALWORTH COUNTY (WITI) -- A canine flu outbreak has affected hundreds of pets throughout the Midwest. The canine flu has been reported in four states, including Wisconsin, with many cases in Chicago and northern Illinois.

Mercy Selazo, manager of Lollipups Pet Resort in Delavan says it was over Easter break when she started getting calls from families in Chicago.

"They couldn't find anybody to board their dogs in Chicago. They were saying all the of the kennels and boarding facilities were closed in the Chicago area," Selazo said.

A spike in canine flu cases is being blamed for that. Symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Variable fever
  • Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
  • Rapid/difficult breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

The canine flu is contagious. It can be given to dogs by other dogs and even by humans.

"People can carry it on their skin for up to 12 hours and on their clothes for 24 hours," Selazo said.

That's why cleaning at Lollipups is Charlie Richardson's top job.

"Just to make sure nothing gets spread around. It's just like a school. It can spread around very quickly so we are always on top of it," Richardson said.

One of the first things that happens when a new animal comes in to Lollipups is the BAR test. BAR is an acronym for Bright, Alert and Responsive. The test can give employees the first indication that there is a problem with a dog.

The canine flu has been deadly, so that's why the folks at Lollipups are taking it so seriously.

"They are now offering the vaccines around here which we are definitely are telling our clients it's a good thing to look into," Selazo said.

The canine flu outbreak in Chicago has prompted officials to tell dog owners to postpone trips to dog parks and doggy daycare centers until the worst of the outbreak passes. Dogs younger than one year and older than seven are most at risk.

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  • Lisa Schmelz

    We boarded our local Delavan, Wisconsin, dogs here Easter weekend. They got sick with what appears to have been the dog flu. However, when I called Lollipups after seeing news reports on the dog flu, and knowing there were Chicago-area dogs there, they said my phone call was the first they’d heard of it. This story contradicts that statement, and I am beyond angry that they lied and appeared willing to take dogs during from an area affected by the outbreak. Also, all the “cleaning” in the world and there so-called check-ups will not prevent the spread of this flu. Not a great way to do business, Lollipups.

  • Nick

    I am sure they understand that Miss Smells, the article only explains that people in Chicagoland were calling there, as they are many surrounding areas, due to them being closed in Chicago due to the influenza. That does not mean Lollipups is taking in any dogs suspected of having the flu. Yes all dogs that are exposed will have it, 20% will show no symptoms, and a lesser amount may have the worse of it. Cleaning is definitely at least a good step in trying to prevent the virus from being spread, as is keeping watch for any signs.

  • nicole

    Very irresponsible for our local kennels to not care about our dogs safety and only about lining their pocket books! Lollipups never should’ve taken any dog from infected areas even without symptoms. Very bad business!

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