McLean County animal lovers warn of deadly disease in pups from Hudson rescue

McLean County animal lovers warn of deadly disease in pups from Hudson rescue

PEORIA (25 News Now) – For animal lovers, welcoming a new pet into the home should be a heartwarming, exciting occasion.

For recent customers of a McLean County animal rescue, however, it can end up as a costly veterinarian trip with a tragic ending.

One week ago, McLean County Animal Control and the Sheriff’s department raided Top Paw animal rescue in Hudson, Illinois, near Kappa.

On the outside, it looks like a normal house. A notice posted to the door cited they were under investigation for several violations, including hoarding and unsafe conditions for the animals. Video taken by volunteer Michelle Weed showed animals packed inside, which fur, food and excrement scattered across the floor.

The notice posted to Top Paw in Hudson, Illinois.
The notice posted to Top Paw in Hudson, Illinois.(Abby Smith)

The videos were posted by Abby Smith, owner of a salon in Uptown Normal. She saw them from Weed and “went down a rabbit hole” looking for more information on Top Paw. She encountered several adopters with stories of filthy, injured, and diseased animals.

A look at the current list of licensed animal rescues with the Illinois Department of Agriculture shows Top Paw or the owner is not listed. Top Paw is also not on the list of cat breeders, dog breeders, or dog dealers.

While not in the hands of adopters, four puppies found their way to CARES for PETS in Winnebago County. They were dumped in a kennel on the side of a Northwestern Illinois road.

The microchip on one of the puppies showed a paper trail showing the dog went from Tennessee to Top Paw, according to a Facebook post from the CARES. The puppies were not from the same litter.

The microchipped dog was diagnosed with Giardia, a parasitic infection that attacks the digestive tract. Giardia can be found in still water and puddles, which is where animals can sometimes contract it from.

A third puppy, a small black Lab named Victor was much worse off. He tested positive for Parvovirus, a preventable disease known for its speed and brutality. Dogs are typically vaccinated against the disease with their routine vet visits. Vaccines can also be found in animal supply stores.

“It’s really hard [to treat] if they’re not getting vet care by day two or three to turn them around,” Executive Director of CARES for PETS Stephanie Hicks said. “Parvovirus is the worst stomach flu you could ever imagine. The vomiting and bloody diarrhea is the virus tearing their intestines apart.”

After a tough battle, and more than $3,000 in medical costs, Victor died from parvo. The disease is not only deadly but extremely contagious. Hicks said the virus can live on any surface for up to a year. When there’s parvo in a shelter or home, nearly every surface, blanket, toy, and tool must be sanitized. Whether indoors or outside, in the cold or in the heat, the virus can persist according to Hicks.

“It’s not something that you would ever want an animal to get and it’s extremely painful for them,” Smith said. She and other pet owners are urging recent adopters from Top Paw to check their pets for signs of disease, especially if there are other animals in the home.

If there is unclear medical history, Hicks said “treat it like it’s never been vaccinated,” and seek immediate vet attention.

Similar Posts