Officials Investigating Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria Outbreak Linked To Pet Store Puppies ccby20
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Officials Investigating Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria Outbreak Linked To Pet Store Puppies

By | Rachel Brooks 

Contributor | Telegraph Local 

See the New African Living Standard

In 2013, Minnesotans protested Petland for buying from puppy mills. Were the puppies of this recent outbreak exposed to mill-like conditions prior to the infectious outbreak?

Puppies bought from US pet shops are infecting people this Christmas, citing the CDC. People in 13 states have contracted illnesses passed via these store-bought puppies, citing the Washington Post. This illness is proving drug-resistant. What is it precisely? An infection, as reported by 30 people’s cases, as recently as Tuesday. 

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As of yet, no single pet supplier has been linked to the infectious outbreak. The infection results in bloody diarrhea. The CDC has traced this infection to people who came in contact with pet store puppies. 70% of people who reported this infection have likewise come in contact with pet shop puppies. 

Petland was investigated by the Humane Society again in Summer 2019, retrieved from Human Society’s Youtube.


The common denominator shop, while not linked as the source, for some of the cases is Petland stores. Petland reported puppy-related illnesses involving the bacteria campylobacter. 12 people were infected with campylobacter from Petland stores. Five of those people were Petland employees. 

The Ohio-based chain of Petland stores, which span 80 locations across the United States, is currently working alongside federal and state regulations to control this issue.  

What is campylobacter? Citing the CDC, campylobacter is the most common cause of diarrheal illnesses in the United States. CDC citing Food Disease and Surveillance Network (FoodNet) stated that 14 cases of campylobacter infection are reported for every 100,000 people each year.  Cases also go undiagnosed or unreported. 

Campylobacter can be carried in the intestines, liver, and giblets of commercially transferred animals. It can be transferred via animal slaughter into food products. Because some types of dog food are created from commercially processed animal products, it is a possibility the puppies themselves originally contracted campylobacter from their puppy chow. Then, the puppies passed it to the humans who contacted them in the shops. This has not been the confirmed reason.  

The CDC went into further detail about the puppy-passed infection. They call the bacteria causing this particular disease Campylobacter jejuni which is one of 22 species of the bacteria, citing PubMed. From this C. jejuni outbreak, four people have been hospitalized, but there are no reported deaths. 


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CDC reports that the bacteria from the recent genus of C.jejuni is similar to a case reported in 2018 which was responsible for 113 cases. This outbreak was also generated from Petland store puppies. The Humane Society has previously investigated Petland for purchasing puppies from puppy mills. They published this investigation from 2008. If Petland continues to purchase from puppy mills, then the bacteria likely pass to the puppies from puppy chow eaten at these unsanitary mills. 

Citing the World Health Organization, campylobacter can be killed via heat and through cooking food. If you recently purchased any pet through Petland stores, it may be recommended to give them a bath in warm and soapy water. A puppy that shows signs of illness should be treated by a veterinarian. 

Also citing the WHO, symptoms onset 2-5 days post-infection with the bacteria. If you recently purchased a pet from Petland stores or a local commercial pet shop, and are experiencing diarrhea symptoms, you should likely set an appointment with your physician. Please note, 2-5 days is the typical range of symptom onset, but it can range from 1-10 days. If you experience symptoms such as those mentioned above, within the week you shopped at a commercial pet store, then you should see a physician. 

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