SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) is temporarily pausing taking in owner-surrendered dogs at all of its campuses until Dec. 1 due to a severe respiratory disease, animal officials said.

“Our shelter is currently over capacity and we are experiencing incidents of a severe and highly contagious respiratory disease known as Streptococcus zooepidemicus (‘Strep zoo’),” SDHS said on its website. “In accordance with appropriate disease management practices, we are quarantining and proactively treating all dogs who have been exposed to the virus.”

Streptococcus zooepidemicus is a highly contagious and often fatal disease that has caused several outbreaks of haemorrhagic pneumonia in dogs in recent years, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Symptoms include a moist cough, nasal discharge and raised body temperature that could lead to depression, anorexia and tachypnoea.

Owner-surrendered dogs will only be accepted in emergencies that threaten the health of the pet, per SDHS. They are asking that “all relinquishments of other species be made by appointment only.”

The animal shelter advises the community to reduce the number of animals entering its shelter for both owner-surrendered animals and strays to prevent the spread of disease.

“We understand this is a challenging situation and are here to help. We offer a wide range of tools and resources that can help you hold on to your pet while we contain this disease, or help you rehome them directly to an adopter,” the Humane Society said.

SDHS offers resources and contact information for those interested.

The Humane Society’s locations include San Diego, El Cajon, Escondido and Oceanside.