MISSION, Kan. — Animal lovers in Johnson County are concerned about rabies and a dog imported from overseas that’s been euthanized.
State officials report that dog, a Beladi, which is native to Egypt, was put down, and a post-mortem examination showed it had rabies.
A spokesperson for Unleashed Pet Rescue in Mission said that dog, named Kim, was one of 26 dogs imported to Kansas, and that all of them were vaccinated before bringing them overseas. Those animals are currently in quarantine in Mission.
“Obviously, if we’d have known this dog could have possibly been carrying rabies, we wouldn’t have brought it overseas,”said Jacob Meyer, a spokesperson for Unleashed.
On Wednesday, the Kansas Department for Health and Environment called for all 25 remaining dogs to be quarantined and observed to see if symptoms of rabies would develop.
Veterinarians hold that the rabies virus can only be transmitted when a dog is displaying symptoms. Meyer said those dogs were examined for rabies both in Egypt and the United States.
“Once we found out, we immediately let everyone who was involved with the Egyptian dogs know what had happened, and that we were bringing them back for an extended period of quarantine, and that it was an isolated incident,” Meyer said.
It’s been an upsetting few days for those involved.
“All of our fosters are heartbroken. The few that have adopted out are heartbroken as well because they all have to come back for quarantine. It’s been a sad situation, especially for Kim, the dog that had rabies, for that family. They really loved that dog,” Meyer added.
Meyer said the dogs could be kept in quarantine anywhere from three weeks to four months.
A metro veterinarian told FOX4 it’s not impossible the dog had rabies before she was vaccinated. As of now, Meyer said the other animals aren’t showing symptoms.
“You can’t really test the dog until it’s been deceased for rabies. We’re basically testing to make sure vaccinations are in their blood system and essentially just watching them for symptoms to make sure none of the others break,” Meyer said.
The Beladi dogs have been adopted by many metro families, including Olathe’s LaDean Bradshaw and Wade Cobb, who hails from Leavenworth. They’re among those who maintain that Unleashed handled this situation properly.
“I have no concern about it,” Bradshaw told FOX4. “I’m not worried about the quarantine. The one dog did end up testing positive for rabies. That dog was put down. My dog wasn’t around her while she was showing symptoms.”
“When they’re sick, they’re sick. She looks completely fine and acts fine. She acts better now than when she got here. She’s come out of her shell. She acts like a normal dog,” Cobb said Thursday.
Meyer also mentioned the Beladi dog that disappeared from its home in Leawood last week. That animal’s owners, as well as other helpers, are searching for that dog. However, Meyer and local police said that dog has not shown any signs of having rabies.