STOCKTON (CBS13) – A killer bacteria has forced Stockton to temporarily close its animal shelter and put down several dogs.

It’s called strep zoo and is usually transmitted through horses.

Veterinarian Dr. Jyl Rubin says the bacteria can be especially concerning for places like shelters where animals and people are in close quarters.

“Because it can be upper repertory, it can be spread through coughing, sneezing, sharing of food bowls –and spreads rather quickly,” Rubin said.

In fact, it can kill dogs within two to three days.

The shelter says it has already euthanized the most highly exposed animals and is treating the rest with antibiotics.

The symptoms in dogs can be lesions, fever, shortness of breath, nasal discharge and lethargy.

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