Gwinnett animal shelter suspends dog intakes, adoptions until Jan. 19

The Bill Atkinson Animal Welfare Center in Gwinnett County is suspending dog intakes and adoptions until Jan. 19 to protect against a canine viral infection.

The virus, spreading across the United States, is similar to kennel cough but moves faster. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, labored breathing, lethargy and decreased appetite.

Lifeline Animal Project, which operates in Fulton and DeKalb, reported on Christmas Eve more than 300 of its dogs had symptoms of the virus, canine influenza type H3N2, otherwise known as the dog flu.

Gwinnett County said it coordinated with the Georgia Department of Agriculture before making the decision to suspend dog intakes and adoptions.

The shelter is located at 884 Winder Highway, Lawrenceville. It is still taking in and adopting out cats, according to the county website. The shelter is also accepting injured dogs, the county said. Owners can still reclaim lost dogs and other pets during business hours.

The shelter offers an online pet search and forms to adopt or foster a pet.