Tests confirm that six dogs who died earlier this week at the Pennsylvania SPCA had a rare illness known as "strep zoo."
The illness, that forced a quarantine at the shelter's two Philadelphia facilities, was Streptococcus zooepidemicus, a treatable bacterial infection.
Kim Wolf, a spokeswoman for the PSPCA, told the Daily News Wednesday that she did not know when the quarantines would be lifted. Before the test results came back yesterday, another three dogs were euthanized after showing signs of the infection, Wolf said.
Symptoms of the disease, which is treated with pencillin, include cough, runny nose and fever with severe cases causing dogs to bleed from the mouth and nose.
Strep zoo was responsible for the deaths of as many as 16 dogs at a New York City shelter in January.
The PSPCA has reached out to animal shelters that have experienced similar "strep zoo" cases and is consulting with the University of Pennsylvania infectious disease experts to eliminate the bacteria in the environment, she said.
Newly-appointed PSPCA chief executive, Susan Cosby, who had planned to begin work in mid-June, stepped in yesterday to direct the shelter's response to the outbreak.