Four dogs killed by fostered animal's deadly disease
A DISTRAUGHT pet owner is demanding answers after five of her dogs were struck down by a deadly disease.
When Amanda Rimmer offered to foster a dog from North East Lincolnshire Council's compound for strays in Doughty Road, Grimsby, she thought she was saving a life.
However, the owner of five Staffordshire Bull Terriers has been left heartbroken after the new dog of the same breed infected and killed all but one of her pets with the serious viral disease Parvovirus.
The infection attacks rapidly-dividing cells in a dog's body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract.
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Mrs Rimmer, 33, of Harold Street, Grimsby, said: "I only have one out of six dogs left and I am heartbroken.
"We thought we were doing a good thing by saving a dog.
"I am not blaming Bruno who brought the virus into my home, but I do want to know why the council let it happen.
"When I called the council about what had happened they told me that Bruno had been in a kennel with another dog that had the virus and they had lost our contact details so they couldn't warn us.
"I want to know why and how this happened.
"We have had to pay for three of the dogs to be put down and the other two died while being treated.
"I love my dogs and they are like my kids and I have lost them.
"We have a vet bill for around £1,200 and because I am on benefits I can't afford to pay it.
"The death of the dogs has affected the entire family.
"My 15-year-old daughter, Tara Bacon, will now not stay in the house and my four-year-old, Corey Rimmer, keeps asking where the dogs have gone and is very upset.
"I have been put off fostering dogs and I think we are going to have to move house because of all the bad memories."
All the dogs were aged between 12 weeks and two years.
The general symptoms of Parvovirus are lethargy, severe vomiting, loss of appetite and bloody, foul-smelling diarrhoea which leads to dehydration.
Dogs can be protected from the virus with a vaccine but in some cases it is still possible for them to get it.
Amanda's husband Darren Rimmer, 37, is epileptic, and says the stress of losing the dogs has worsened his conditions.
"It's caused me to have extra fits," he said.
"The stress and upset is also causing me physical and emotional pain. It is like losing a child.
"People have to be careful when fostering a dog and they should make sure they have vaccinations no matter what."
Councillor Dave Bolton, portfolio holder for community safety and neighbourhoods, said: "We are aware that a dog homed by a resident, which had previously and for a short period been in the council's kennels, has died.
"These unfortunate circumstances are often beyond our control as we have a statutory duty for dealing with stray or abandoned dogs in our area.
"We are sorry to hear about the subsequent death of other dogs in the owner's care and have advised the couple to send all relevant details to us.
"We have taken professional advice to minimise the risk of further infection.
"We do strongly urge all owners of dogs to ensure that their pets are regularly vaccinated in accordance with professional advice from a vet in order to minimise the risk of spread of disease."