UPDATE: PetSmart Responds To Scabies Incident At Nags Head Store

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PetSmart has responded to Saturday afternoon's scabies incident at their Nags Head store location.

The organization says that standard protocol was followed, and that they will continue to monitor the situation. See their full statement below.

"The adoptions in PetSmart stores are administered by a nonprofit, PetSmart Charities, which is independent from the corporation. PetSmart Charities helps find homes for more than 400,000 dogs and cats each year. PetSmart, the corporation, donates space in every store to PetSmart Charities for adoption events to occur, featuring pets from local animal welfare organizations.

We take the safety of people and pets very seriously. We have every indication that the store followed our protocol for containing the issue, including closing off any affected areas to customers promptly, removing any pets that may have been exposed and thoroughly sanitizing the affected area.

We will continue to be in close contact with the store and the adoption group to monitor the situation."
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An Eastern Carolina branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that people may have been exposed to a litter of puppies with scabies at a local PetSmart.

The Outer Banks SPCA held an adoption event at the Nags Head PetSmart Saturday afternoon where it was discovered two of the puppies had scabies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe scabies as "an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite."

John Graves, Director of the Outer Banks SPCA, said there were two German Shepherd Collie puppies diagnosed with scabies. He said the puppies came to them last Saturday and were sent to two different veterinarians late last week for spay neuter surgeries, but the veterinarians did not detect the scabies.

One of the puppies was adopted last Thursday and went to the veterinarian today where the scabies was detected, according to Graves. Upon finding out about this, Graves said of the other German Shepherd Collie puppies, that were at PetSmart, "The second we found out we isolated that puppy and removed everything that it came in contact with."

Graves said two of the six puppies brought to the event had scabies.

It is unclear how many people came into contact with the scabies-stricken puppies. Graves said, "In eight years I've only seen this 3 times."

The Outer Banks SPCA made an announcement of the incident on their Facebook page:

"Announcement: We have just found out that one of the litters of puppies at the shelter has scabies. We cannot apologize enough for any issues this may cause. Anyone who may have handled these dogs should be certain to wash themselves and their clothes. This diagnosis was missed by shelter staff and two veterinarians before being caught by a third. Again, we cannot apologize enough for any issues this may cause."

We've left a message with PetSmart for comment on what happened involving the adoption even at their store but have not heard back.

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