Shelter offers free vaccinations for puppies

An outbreak of the canine parvovirus has prompted Española Humane to take proactive steps to ensure its shelter puppies are safe and help prevent the contagious virus from spreading.

The shelter is asking the community to ensure that vulnerable puppies are safe through updated vaccinations and to not bring in puppies to the shelter for two weeks, until Aug. 9. The shelter is offering free puppy vaccinations clinics to the public on Tuesday, July 27 and Wednesday, July 28, starting at 8:30 a.m. at the shelter.

In addition, the shelter is waiving its adoption fees on all shelter pets to free up space. Many of the most vulnerable pets are currently with foster parents and the shelter hopes more people in the community will help take on pets to help during this time. The shelter provides help, including food, supplies and medicine, when needed.

Parvovirus, typically referred to as parvo, mainly afflicts puppies and is highly contagious, spreading through direct contact with an infected dog or contaminated objects and surfaces. Parvo is persistent in the environment: this virus can live on all surfaces – from water bowls to any ground surface including dirt – for over a year, rain or shine, freezing temps, or high temperatures.

“We care deeply for the healthy puppies at the shelter and cannot expose them to this disease,” said Adam Bates, the shelter’s manager. “We need to thoroughly clean the shelter, wait 14 days, and closely monitor the health of the puppies in our care.”

Puppies should be vaccinated against parvo at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age. They are vulnerable to the disease until they have received all three shots have a mature immune system. The shelter asks puppy owners to keep their healthy pups at home and vaccinated as soon as possible. Adult dogs are also vulnerable if they aren’t up to date on boosters.

Puppies with parvo can be contagious before you realize that they are ill, Bates said, often taking as long as 14 days before symptoms appear. A puppy with parvo is a very sick dog. Common symptoms include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, not wanting to eat or drink, and low energy levels. If your puppy has these symptoms, please call Española Humane right away because while there is no cure for parvo – and it can be fatal – our staff can train you how to care for sick puppies.

“If you can foster a sick puppy, give us a call because we can provide training, supplies and medical support,” Bates said. “We are doing everything we can to help pets and slow the spread of this disease.”

The shelter asks those who find a puppy to call the shelter for help with supplies and to consider fostering. The shelter remains open for adoption of adult animals and all adopted pets receive medical support 30 days following adoption to ensure that newly adopted pets remain healthy.

For more information, call 505 753-8662 or visit If you’d like to donate to help us offer low-cost vaccines, medical supplies, and food, we are grateful for your support