A vigil for puppies euthanized because they were believed to be exposed to the rabies virus was held Wednesday night at the Nevada State Legislature.
Mowgli Movement organizer Sarah Smith said the vigil was for puppy Mowgli and his littermates, born in Gardnerville on Nov. 21, 2013.
“Mother Mae gave birth to 10 puppies. Ashley, Zoe, Melo, Mowgli, Shadow, Jake, Rockie, Thor, Jaszmin, Captain,” she said. “In February, Captain died from parvovirus. After his death his owners informed the veterinarian that he had bit a human. Due to the fact that Captain had bit a human he was tested for rabies and his results came back positive.”
The death of Captain prompted an effort in two counties to find the puppies from the litter.
Mama dog Mae’s owner was contacted by Douglas County Animal Services soon after for a list of who adopted the puppies.
“On Feb. 19, the Alloway family made the hard call to euthanize Zoe, and (Brittany) Smith had to make the hard call with Doobie as well,” Sarah Smith said.
On Feb. 20, Melo, Mowgli and Mae were euthanized by their families. The next day, Holly Avila had Carson Valley Veterinarian Hospital euthanize Shadow.
The families received word on Feb. 28 that the Centers for Disease Control had the final rabies test for Zoe, Doobie, Mae, Melo, Mowgli and Shadow, and all six test results were negative.
Puppies Jake and Rockie were checked in on Feb. 25 for a six-month quarantine stay at Carson City Animal Control.
“We are working hard to raise money for these pups quarantine costs, as well as find suitable placement for Thor and Jaszmin,” Smith said. “We are attempting to work with Douglas County Animal Control to find a solution for these dogs that does not involve euthanizing or as animal control has stated, inhumane quarantine, considering they will miss out on the primary social skills and bonding stages of their lives. We do not want all of the animals to die or suffer to show that the exposure was an isolated incident in Dayton and did not result in the Gardnerville home or infect any of these innocent animals.”
The only accepted test to confirm that an animal hasn’t been exposed to rabies is to euthanize the animal and test a sample of its brain.
“We want to bring awareness to this fact in hopes of finding new testing methods,” Smith said. “We would also like to bring attention to how a person or their animal can protect themselves against contracting rabies.”
Donations to the Mowgli Movement can be made at www.gofundme.com/75wavg.