Recently, there's been a rise in canine respiratory illness, and we want to keep you in the loop. Our priority is the well-being of your beloved pets, and we're closely monitoring the situation. Our dedicated team is working diligently to stay informed and take proactive measures to ensure the safety of every dog in our care. In a letter from our owner, you'll find more details on the steps we're taking to address this mystery illness head-on. Your trust means the world to us, and we're committed to keeping you updated and ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all our furry friends.
email@example.com | (301) 345-3647
December 4, 2023
To Our Wonderful ADC Family,
We hope this letter finds you well and that you’re enjoying the beginnings of the holiday season. We are writing to address the recent news of the recent canine respiratory illness that has been making its rounds. We have been following this story for some time and know that many of you have questions about how we are preparing for it at All Dogs Club. Please take the time to read this entire message so that we can all work together to keep everyone safe. Being on the same page will be crucial in managing the situation at our facility and beyond.
In case you are unfamiliar with this development, there have been reports of a recent, atypical canine respiratory disease whose symptoms include coughing, sneezing, eye or nose discharge and lethargy. According to experts, most of the cases reported appear to be similar to kennel cough, but don’t respond to normal medication and have a cough that lasts longer than the normal seven to ten days.
As of today, there are active cases of canine respiratory illness in Maryland. There is no current, conclusive data that suggests that this is an outbreak of a singular respiratory illnesses. (NPR, Stone)
Experts and vets are warning pet owners to keep an eye out for these symptoms:
Eye or nasal discharge, red eyes
Lethargy or sluggish behaviors
Respiratory distress or labor (difficulty breathing)
Experts are suggesting that pet owners make sure that their dog’s vaccinations are current, especially respiratory illness vaccinations.
Our team at All Dogs Club has been hard at work with the aide of a local veterinary office and a national kennel health organization to develop a plan for our upcoming holiday season. As we’re sure you can gather, our facility will be experiencing higher volumes of dogs during the holiday season. Knowing that many pup owners don’t have in-home or other daycare/boarding options, we are asking that our families be extra cautious about exposing their dogs to other dogs during walks and particularly at dog parks where vaccination status cleanliness and illness aren’t monitored.
Here’s what we’re doing to beef up our procedures and cleaning process:
Most importantly, we are asking out pet owners to closely monitor their dogs for signs of illness before bringing them to our facility. If your dog is showing signs of illness or unusual behaviors, or are unsure about whether or not your dog has symptoms, DO NOT BRING THEM TO ADC and please contact your local vet to have them examined. Our best defense against illness is responsible owners who do not expose sick dogs to others.
Please do not bring a sick, or potentially sick dog to our facility. If your dog does fall ill before a planned visit, please keep them home for at least 3 weeks before attending daycare or boarding at ADC and until they have been cleared by a vet. Unfortunately we won’t be offering long-term isolation or suites to animals who exhibit symptoms. Any dog showing symptoms must be picked up immediately.
Beginning this week, our staff will be employing a standard 1-2 minute examination of each dog coming to play or stay with us. Upon being dropped off, each dog will be checked over for signs of respiratory illness before being introduced to the packs. During this examination they will be inspected for symptoms like eye or nasal discharge, cough or wheezing. We ask that pet owners drop off their pets and stay close-by for a few extra minutes in case the dog is thought to be symptomatic.
Beginning this week, pet owners who attend the facility will be required to verbally verify that their dog has not shown symptoms of canine illness. Our staff will also ask you to share any instances of outside interaction with other potentially sick dogs (dog parks, walks, other facilities, grooming facilities, training facilities, vet offices).
Our facility playrooms and equipment (floors, play equipment, crates, dishes) are cleaned throughout the day and constantly sanitized with Top Performance 256 canine-safe cleaning agents multiple times a day. We do not use an airborne sprayer, we utilize outdoor playtime whenever possible. Although we can not deprive our pups of filtered water stations, they will be continue to be changed every 30-60 minutes.
Our team is recommending that any dogs with vaccinations expiring in the next two months be revaccinated as soon as possible and any young dogs who are coming to stay with us should be fully vaccinated for at least two weeks before coming to our facility. Senior dogs or dogs with underlying health issues should be especially cautious.
What can you do to help?
Be diligent. We will be working tirelessly to keep things clean and safe on our side— but nothing matters more than your responsibility of keeping sick dogs away from general population. If we determine that your pup may be ill, we respect the right to refuse while maintaining our club credit policy.
Use your best judgement. If you have dogs with underlying health issues or a senior dog, our vet partners are recommending that those pups stay at home this holiday season. Please remember that while we are working hard to keep things safe, there is inherent risk when utilizing a facility like ours. Our full cancellation, refund and hold harmless policies are in effect. If you are not comfortable sending you pup to stay, we respect your decision!
Educate yourself. Experts are sharing that there is not current conclusive data that links the illness outbreaks nationally. We face a surge of warnings and waves of illness every year in the fall/winter. On a whole, collections of data around canine illness are not tracked consistently, so it’s hard to know how unusual this illness is. Stay up to date using reputable sources and your trusted vet.
Make the right decisions for your family while being respectful of ours. We understand that the holidays are a busy and stressful time for everyone. While we will be working to keep things clean and safe, we understand that you may skip holiday boarding this year. Whether we see you or not, please respect our booking, cancellation, refund and waiver policies.
One of the most frustrating things we face as doggy daycare owners is the assumption that most canine illness originates at facilities like ours and the reason dogs get sick is because we aren’t doing our job to keep things clean. The term ‘kennel cough’ leads people to assume canine influenza originates and only exists and thrives in our facilities. The truth is, our vaccination policies, familiar pet attendance, responsible families and cleaning routines make our facilities a less likely place to initially pick up an illness. Instead initial contact with a sick dog mostly occurs in places like dog parks and unmonitored play places where there are no vaccination policies or continuity in dogs packs and then brought to us by owners who don’t recognize the signs.
In the event that we do experience an outbreak or confirmed cases at our facility, we will alert dog owners immediately and report information to the local animal wellness authorities. Any dogs with recognized or assumed symptoms will be isolated immediately and sent home. Please understand that our cancellation and refund policies are in effect.
With all of that said, please remember that we are always, always working our tails off (hah!) to do what’s best for our dogs and our families. Please be kind to our staff members, please be respectful of our policies and keep sick pups at home to rest.
If you have any questions of concerns, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With love from our family to yours,
Kelsey, Wilfredo and the ADC Team
You can download this letter here: