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Animal welfare organization seeks donations after treating puppies with parvo

parvo puppy
Humane Society of Southwest Missouri
One of three puppies with parvo that were recently cared for at the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri

Two puppies survived the illness, and one did not.

Two puppies have recovered from canine parvovirus at the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri, and another recently died of the illness.

The puppies were each brought in separately and immediately placed in isolation when they tested positive.

Katie Newcomb, the humane society’s marketing manager, said the first—Rudy--was brought in with his mom, and after a brief period of touch and go, he recovered.

While he was fighting parvo, another puppy—Aurora—came in very sick with the illness. The humane Society had to place her in overnight care at an emergency vet clinic in Springfield, but she died after returning the next day.

"That was really hard for staff," said Newcomb. "You know, we put so much time and love into these animals, and we care for them like they're our own until they find a new home."

During that same time, a third puppy—Rascal—was brought in and tested positive for parvo. He’s since recovered.

Donations needed

The humane society is hoping people will donate to help with the cost of the puppies' care. Newcomb said, when animals come in sick, it can be expensive to treat them.

"All of that costs us. Even though it's here at our shelter, we still pay for it," she said," and so, one parvo case could average out to $1000, and, in Aurora's situation, we actually paid more because of the overnight stay."

She said they’ll always do what they can for an animal despite the cost, and that’s why they need the public’s help.

To donate to the humane society’s emergency fund, go to and click on the giving tab or call 417-833-2526.

What is canine parvovirus?

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that affects a dog’s gastrointestinal tracts, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It can affect all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies under four-months-old are most at risk.

Parvo is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces, environments or people.


Symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and bloating, fever or low body temperature, vomiting and severe, often bloody, diarrhea.

If you notice any of these symptoms, seek veterinary care immediately.

How to protect your dog

The best way to protect your dog from parvovirus is to keep their shots up to date. The parvo vaccine should be given annually.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.