Miami-Dade Animal Services suspending some services after bacterial outbreak

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade Animal Services suspended some of its services Friday due to a recent bacterial outbreak.

According to a news release, Miami-Dade County Animal Services “is at critical capacity and managing an outbreak of Streptococcus equi zooepidemicus, a bacterial agent that causes hemorrhagic pneumonia in dogs and can occasionally cause disease in people and other animals.”

The organization is urging pet owners to protect their dogs from highly contagious and potentially life-threatening bacteria.

Doctors say the bacteria can affect humans that are immunocompromised, but the occurrence is low.

Dogs that are brought to the shelter are at high risk of contracting the bacteria.

Therefore, to prevent the spread, effective immediately, Animal Services is suspending some public services including:

•Wellness Clinic- spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations

•Response to service requests for stray dogs at large and stray dog pickups (The Department will continue to respond to all other service request types.)

•Receiving – Pets will not be accepted at the shelter; they are asking residents to keep their pets at home

•Adoption and TNVR services remain open during the outbreak

Miami-Dade Animal Services gave the following tips in case of an outbreak, which you can read below:

•Pet parents should watch for symptoms including fever, lethargy, coughing (with or without blood), mucopurulent or bloody nasal discharge, hemorrhagic pneumonia, and in some cases, sudden death.

• If you believe your pet is exhibiting symptoms contact your veterinarian immediately for further recommendations and treatment.

• The preferred treatment is with a 7 day course treatment with Cephalosporins.

•The second preferred line of antibiotics are penicillins. This bacteria is resistant to fluoroquinolone antibiotics; therefore, they should not be used in the treatment of this disease.

To keep the bacteria from spreading, they are asking for the community’s help by fostering and taking as many pets out of the shelter as possible.

To become a foster, please visit or email:

For more information on the outbreak, please visit: or call 311.

About the Author:

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.