KENTON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - The parvovirus outbreak at the Kenton County Animal Shelter began after the shelter took in three dogs from the City Heights area July 22.
Shelter director Elizabeth Cochran said they shut down the shelter for two weeks to quarantine the area.
A week after three stray dogs came to the shelter one showed signs of the parvovirus.
Soon other dogs at the shelter began showing the same symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
Cochran said the virus is very contagious and spreads quickly.
"They could be walking on the grass then go and groom their paw and then they ingest the virus and they still have it on the paw," said Cochran. "And then another day and come walk and that and they can carry it or a human."
It spread so quick through the facility, the shelter had few options when it came to the affected dogs.
The shelter euthanized 21 of its dogs.
"But in saying that we did have to euthanize 21, we saved 40 by containing the virus and shutting down," said Cochran.
Saving 40 dogs was the silver lining for this shelter, but they know it could have been worse.
"A virus is a virus, and we're responsible to take in animals from everywhere all day long," said Cochran. "We don't know a history of the pet. So it's a difficult scenario every day that we deal with."
Kenton County Animal Shelter is now clear of the virus and said it will have a review of its policies on how to prevent future outbreaks of any disease.