RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Wake County animal shelter will close for at least 35 days due to a recent outbreak of dog flu.

The Wake County Animal Center announced Thursday that the closure will begin Friday.

The center’s Director, Dr. Jennifer Federico, said that as of Thursday night, three dogs that tested positive for the flu, have died since the outbreak.

The center said the closure is a proactive measure to “ensure the health and safety of animals and the community.”

The center will stop accepting animals and adopting out to prevent new cases and protect the total of 449 animals currently being cared for at the shelter.

Federico says another 57 dogs are battling a respiratory infection and her team is working to test every dog.

“We are committed to them. We are going to treat them, care for them,” Federico said. “Make sure that when we reopen, we’ve eliminated this disease from the population that is here.”

Animal control will still respond to calls but will not bring in strays.

Federico says every animal adopted out of Wake county’s shelter is vaccinated, however, pet parents should monitor their dog for symptoms for the flu and call their veterinarian if they appear.



“Lethargy. Not eating. Coughing. Nasal discharge. Sneezing,” Federico said. “I’m worried about daycares, boarding, things like that. So I just encourage owners to talk to their veterinarian about what they need to keep their pets safe.”

She’s also urging the public to help rehome animals on their own while shelter services are shut down.

“We just need our community support to really take on the services that we cannot offer right now,” Federico said.