Best of Salem County since 2009. We appreciate your vote of confidence!
There is a canine upper respiratory infection that has been going around the region and the state and dog parks, doggie day cares and boarding facilities are at risk and most have been impacted. We have had a few dogs develop a cough after leaving our facility over the last few weeks (a small percentage of the dogs who have stayed with us, but worth noting). This is of utmost concern to us. While this type of infection is always a possibility when boarding (it’s nicknamed “kennel cough” for a reason), both our strict vaccination requirements and our extensive cleaning protocols have protected us from seeing more than the occasional case since we purchased Joyful Acres 5 years ago.
In the interest of full transparency, we prefer to share information as we get it, and share what actions we are taking. Since we started to get reports from clients, we have consulted with our supervising vet and adjusted our practices and protocols to keep the dogs in our care as safe as possible (more on that later). This appears to be a fairly contagious bug and is getting past the bordatella vaccine or is caused by a different virus/bacteria. There have been canine infectious respiratory disease (CIRD) outbreaks reported throughout the state and region in recent weeks and months (see this article from Burlington County, for example). It appears CIRD (presenting as kennel cough) is fortunately very treatable with simple medication (frequently doxycycline) and in almost all instances is not a cause for much concern. However, if untreated, it can worsen.
Please know that we are watching this very closely and are doing everything in our power to prevent the spread. Our enhanced protocols include:
We will continue to keep you posted on any relevant information and use our staff team to monitor, clean and disinfect, etc. Kennel Cough outbreaks, Canine Influenza outbreaks, and other health issues are a challenging and frustrating part of the industry, and in dog parenting in general. We believe complete disclosure and communication are the best policy even if it costs our business.
We ask that you do not bring your dog to us or to any pet care facility or dog park if they are displaying symptoms or have been exposed at another facility. Symptoms include coughing (off and on usually, but steady) and light “vomiting and choking” small amounts of fluid. If your dog is ill or has been exposed, please call us to cancel your reservation.
We are keeping records of all dogs from our facility that are showing symptoms and/or diagnosed. If you are able to email or call us and let us know if this is happening, it would be greatly appreciated. Dogs should not return any facility with other dogs until they have finished their meds and aren’t showing symptoms (7 days to be safe). While we are not changing our vaccine requirements at this time, we strongly encourage you to consider bordatella boosters every 6 months and vaccinating against canine influenza as an added precaution.
We are remaining open and operating at this time, to serve our clients who need our services and have made the informed decision to board. We are working hard to stop the spread and give the best and safest care to every pet in our facility. As always, we appreciate the trust that you place in us to care for your pet(s). We consider each and every dog that we care for to be part of our family and appreciate the opportunity to be a partner in your pet’s care.
Jason & Signe Bell