Gracelane Kennels in Westchester, New York Releases Facts on Rumors about Dog Flu

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Bob Gatti, owner of Gracelane Kennels located in Westchester County, New York, has not experienced any cases of dog flu since mid-summer, and says that continuing media reports about the prevalence of the virus are not accurate. The outbreak was reported in kennels, veterinary clinics, grooming shops and dog parks in mid-July. Mr. Gatti closed and disinfected his clinic and reopened August 6th, and has boarded over 200 dogs a day since with no further reoccurence. Veterinary clinics in Metro New York report few or no cases since mid-summer.

In response to fear-fueled rumors circulating in the media about the dog flu virus, Bob Gatti, owner of Gracelane Kennels, in Ossining, New York provided the following facts about the outbreak and his kennels:

  • Gracelane Kennels and other dog kennels, veterinary clinics, grooming shops, and dog parks experienced an outbreak of the flu virus in July 2005.
  • Mr. Gatti immediately closed his kennels, disinfected the entire operation, and did not accept any dogs for a three-week period.
  • The kennels reopened on August 6th and has boarded over 200 dogs per day since without a single reoccurrence.

Veterinarians throughout the New York Metro area have reported few or no cases in their practices. When recently interviewed by ABC’s Good Morning America and Channel 12 News, Dr. Glenn Zeitz from Hudson Veterinary Hospital told reporters that no cases have been seen by his facility since late July. Dr. Ann E. Hohenhaus, chief of medicine at the Animal Medical Center on the Upper East Side said in a New York Times interview, “Much of the fear is fueled by rumors.”

Dr. Alan Schrier of the Pleasantville Animal Hospital says, “I have not seen a case since the end of July.” Dr. Jed Moyer of Briarcliff Manor Animal Hospital also reports no new cases since late July. Dr. Cynthia Eldredge of the Croton-on-Hudson Veterinary Clinic has seen no cases at all of the canine influenza.

Mr. Gatti wanted to make these facts available to the public because reports are continuing to circulate about the mid-summer outbreak, and the current status is not being reported.

Opened in 1911, Gracelane Kennels is the oldest operating kennels in the United States. The owner lives on the grounds and has built a solid reputation with its repeat customers, and is often referred to as “the kennels for the stars.”

Said Mr. Gatti, “One of the things that makes our kennels truly different from others is that each dog has a large, separate inside stall with a 24-foot, private, attached outdoor dog run. Most kennels these days have common runs which dogs share throughout the day.”

‘My business has returned to previous levels before the outbreak,” said Gatti, “but this continuing negative press coverage is just not accurate. The whole story needs to be told.”

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Jo Ann Swahn
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