‘ORCA’ offers low-cost vaccines after parvovirus kills three dogs in Lancaster

An outbreak of a highly contagious canine virus in downtown Lancaster has killed three dogs within the past week; all of them lived in the same neighborhood.

“We’ve had two deaths on Beaver Street this week, and a little Chihuahua on Green Street,” said Connie Kondravy, co-founder of the ‘Organization For Responsible Care of Animals,’ also known as ORCA.

ORCA is now on a mission; a mission to make sure no other dogs lose their life to the Parvovirus.

“It’s an intestinal digestive virus that attacks that whole area,” Kondravy said.

“I’ve been dealing with this disease since 1980; it’s a terrible disease and kills a lot of puppies,” added Veterinarian Frank Thomson.

Thomson and ORCA PARVOVIRUSvolunteers hosted a low-cost parvovirus clinic along Beaver Street Saturday to help fight that problem.

For just a small donation of $5.00, more than 150 pet owners took the first step to protect their pup.

“The virus, this time of year, it goes like a fire through neighborhoods,” Thomson said. “You can actually plot it on streets, it happens so fast.”

Organizers say it’s also important for people to be able to recognize the symptoms.

“Usually the first symptom is that they’re lazy or lethargic, then we see the bloody diarrhea or the bloody vomiting and of course there is no desire to eat or move,” Kondravy said.

While all dogs can catch the virus, experts say puppies are especially at risk.

“They’re all turning 12 to 16 weeks; they’re maternal immunity is dying out and they’re vulnerable,” Thomson said.

Kondravy says they’re pleased with the high turnout of Saturday’s clinic and hope others will continue to take action before it’s too late.

“Once the animals are full-blown Parvo victims, there’s really nothing you can do,” she said.

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