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What to know about strep zoo; the possible outbreak at Nebraska Humane Society

Posted at 5:39 PM, Jun 12, 2024

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Strep zoo can be fatal which is why NHS is taking this matter seriously. Dr. Amber Horn, the animal medical director shares the precautions the shelter is taking and what pet owners should look for.

  • NHS workers deep clean all areas of the shelter because strep zoo can be fatal to animals.
  • Symptoms pet owners should look out for; coughing, depression, nasal discharge, a hard time breathing.
  • NHS has done more recent testing as of Tuesday on a number of animals and will get results in the next three to five business days.


It’s quieter than normal at the Nebraska Humane Society. That's because its doors are closed as caution has taken precedent over a case of Strep Zoo. Northwest Omaha neighborhood reporter Jill Lamkins shares what you need to know about this contagious disease and how to keep your pets safe.

In this video from NHS, you can see just how seriously they're taking this potential outbreak.

Deep cleaning all areas of the shelter daily. That's because strep zoo can be fatal to animals.

Dr. Amber Horn, NHS's animal medical director says they're taking precautions.

"You know, it can be a stressful situation, a stressful time, but everybody's really, really doing a great job of pulling together for the animals. So, I'd say, in that way it's been great."

Dr. Horn is recommending for anybody who's adopted within the past two weeks, or they're simply just worried about their pet, to look out for these signs; coughing, depression, nasal discharge, and a hard time breathing.

"These are things you definitely want to reach out to your veterinarian for and get an appointment so that your veterinarian can go ahead and prescribe medications if its needed."

There is no cure for strep zoo, but Dr. Horn says antibiotics are effective in treating the illness.

As far as the animals inside NHS, all are sheltering-in-place.

There is a special process however for reuniting with lost pets.

"But if an animal goes home, a dog goes home, we are sending home prophylactic, so, preventative antibiotics. That doesn't happen very often in veterinary medicine, but in this case, it warrants it. So, we are sending that home."

The humane society has done more recent testing on several animals in their care as of Tuesday and will get results in the next three to five days. Normal operations will depend on the findings.