Connie Nelson and her family adopted a boxer puppy from the Kanawha/Charleston Humane Association. According to Nelson, they were told the puppy was healthy and disease free.
But just two days later, their new puppy got sick, and when they brought it to the veterinarian at the shelter, they got the parvovirus diagnosis.
Jessica Gradey, a veterinarian in Charleston, tells 13NEWS the parvovirus, or parvo as it's commonly called, is a contagious disease that is pretty common in shelters. She said it's spread in animal waste and fluids. The virus is known to live for long periods of time, even up to seven years.
Typically, unvaccinated puppies are most susceptible to the virus, Grady said. Older dogs can acquire it if they are not vaccinated. She said it can be spread on shoes, hands -- even from clothing. As long as the virus touches you or your animal, an unvaccinated animal is susceptible.
Once an animal has parvo, it is either treated or euthanized, Grady said. Treatment can be costly, and the odds of survival are 50 percent.
Gradey said the reason why all animals are not tested is, "they don't test everybody because if they're not symptomatic, your test is most likely going to be negative."
If you want to be sure your pet is parvo-free, you have to pay for the test yourself. According to Gradey, who treats animals at the Humane Association in Charleston, it's simply too expensive to test every animal.
Sarah Corbin didn't pay for a parvo test for the puppy her son picked out and it turns out the dog had parvo.
"I feel very mislead, because I was told that he was healthy and that he would make a life long friend for my child," said Corbin.
One woman, Connie Nelson, said she has gathered up a group of people who have had the same issues with the shelter.
She said they have agreed to meet with her and the group at an off-site location.
In the meantime, the shelter said it's doing all it can to control the spread of the disease.