Injured dog gives disease to human, human spreads to other dogs, local rescue deals with aftermath

Injured dog gives disease to human, human spreads to other dogs, local rescue deals with aftermath

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - A local animal rescue is dealing with a very rare problem, a disease spreading from an injured dog. to a human and the human spreading it to other foster dogs.

The dog that was sick first didn't make it, but the rescue is now dealing with the aftermath of getting the others the medical attention they need. Rescuing furry friends and finding them foster homes is what Dust Bowl Animal Rescue (DBAR) does.

Recently, the rescue came across Finn. Finn got hit by a car and was taken in by a rescue family, a wife and husband, with five other foster dogs. Finn was quarantined from the other pets but his immune system was too weak and he didn't make it. What the foster family didn't know was that Finn was sick with MRSA Pneumonia.

"There's a very, very short list of diseases that can hop between dogs and humans. Unfortunately, this is one of them," said Katherine Kirk, Treasurer of DBAR. "So it went from that dog to the husband and once it was in his lungs, he's walking around his house, even though he was washing his hands and taking off his shoes, going in and out of the quarantine area, respiratory is one of the easiest to spread."

The five other foster dogs got MRSA too, running vet bills up to $10,498.

"We still needed to do tests on them to make sure that's what they had so they were being treated appropriately," said Kirk. "Each one of them was on multiple medications. Some of the dogs were older and weaker and they ended up getting hospitalized at the vet to get medications by IV's to give them the best odds. You do that on four or five dogs and you're left with an over $10,000 bill."

Now the rescue is left in charge of raising that money. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, they're hosting a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m until 10 a.m. at On The Border in Midland. Tickets are sold at the door, $10 for adults, $5 for children. Other items will also be raffled.

"Depending how bad it gets and how long it drags on, it's actually threatening our existence and we might have to close down, which is the last thing we want to do," said Kirk. "We've had a surprise that is a quarter of year's budget hit us out of the blue, which is why we're asking for help."

DBAR can't take in anymore animals until they catch up with vet bills. For more information on how to help visit

Copyright 2017 KWES. All rights reserved.