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SAN DIEGO — A litter of Lab-mix puppies that was sick with canine parvovirus will soon be available for adoption after care by a local animal rescue.

Someone found the litter and turned them into a local shelter, where they tested positive for parvovirus, according to Jamie Gothro, a volunteer with Saving Pets One at a Time. The puppies were a little older than 2 weeks when they were transferred to SPOT.

One puppy died from the virus but the others appear to be doing well after around-the-clock care, Gothro said.

The virus has a high mortality rate if left untreated and symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, fever or low temperature. Cats can suffer from feline panleukopenia, another highly-contagious viral disease that is especially serious in young animals that aren’t fully vaccinated.

Gothro said rescue staff believes the viruses are more widespread right now because of higher adoption rates during the pandemic.

“People adopted a lot of dogs during the shutdown, but access to veterinary care was severely limited,” Gothro said. “Hospitals were impacted by shutdowns, so people couldn’t get in and get vaccines. So there’s a lot of animals that aren’t protected.”

Gothro said with more people outdoors at beaches and parks, the virus has more opportunity to infect animals. She said the best thing you can do is make sure your pet finishes all vaccines. Until then, avoid areas where they may be exposed to the virus.

“With dogs especially, avoiding common areas. Dog beaches, dog parks, things like that,” she said. “Those are just places where there are a lot of virus that stays around. … It lives in the environment for a really long time, up to a year. And it’s resistant to a lot of cleaners, so that’s why it’s such a concern.”

The litter of puppies should be available for adoption in the coming weeks. More information about how to adopt is available on the SPOT website.