The disease status of stray dogs admitted to an animal shelter in Gwangju, Korea

광주 동물보호소의 유기견 현황 및 질병 조사

  • Myung, Bo Young (Gwangju Animal Shelter) ;
  • Yi, Yu Kyung (College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University) ;
  • Paik, Il Youp (College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University) ;
  • Chung, Gyung Min (Gwangju Animal Shelter) ;
  • Lim, Sun (College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University) ;
  • Suh, Guk Hyun (College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University) ;
  • Kang, Seong Soo (College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University) ;
  • Shin, Sung Shik (2College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University)
  • Accepted : 2009.12.03
  • Published : 2009.12.31


Animal shelters are potentially vulnerable to constant exposure to a variety of diseases for both animals and humans, because thousands of animals with unknown histories are being admitted to each shelter on a yearly basis in Korea. The control of disease spread, therefore, can be a major challenge to veterinarians in most shelters. This study investigated the health status of stray dogs admitted to the Gwangju Animal Shelter during the year of 2008, and analyzed types of disorders at the time of admission as well as newly acquired diseases while housed in the shelter. Canine heartworm disease was the most prevalent infection among stray dogs at the time of admission, while the respiratory disorder was the most common shelteracquired disease. The majority of dogs (93.5%) was either small or middle-sized breeds with Maltese (19.7%) and Shih Tzu (16.0%) being the most commonly found stray dogs. Out of 1,143 dogs admitted to the shelter, owners of 128 dogs (11.2%) visited the shelter and found their lost dogs, while 518 dogs (45.3%) were adopted to new families. Results of this study strongly indicate that stray dogs in Korea are exposed to a variety of diseases and the disease control by veterinarians is one of the most important aspects of the shelter management.


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