Campylobacter Outbreak in Pet Store Puppies


So, why wouldn’t you buy a puppy at a pet store? Can you say puppy mills? These horrific places and commercial mass production is where all dogs or cats from pet stores are sourced (unless from a reputable shelter or rescue who happen to adopt via a pet store). Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has weighed in. CDC and public health officials in several states are investigating a multi-state outbreak of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter jejuni infections linked to puppies purchased from pet stores.

The American Kennel Club and Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council continue to strongly support pet store purchases of these factory bred puppies, and fight laws which ban pet store sales. While the CDC advisory just occurred, also it’s interested to note that at least as of this moment no mention of the advisory on either of their websites. Note, Campylobacter jejuni is a concern for humans, not only dogs. What’s more, this is a multi-drug resistant form.

Now, the CDC offers their concerns as a result of an ongoing outbreak. This is word for word from the CDC:

  • 30 people infected with the outbreak strain of Campylobacter jejuni have been reported from 13 states.
    • 4 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that contact with puppies, especially those at pet stores, is the likely source of this outbreak.
  • Among 24 people interviewed,
    • 21 (88%) of the 24 people reported contact with a puppy.
    • 15 (71%) of these 21 people reported contact with a puppy from a pet store.
    • 12 (80%) of these 15 people were linked to Petland, a national pet store chain.
    • 5 (42%) of these 12 people were Petland employees.
  • Laboratory evidence indicates that bacteria from ill people in this outbreak are closely related genetically to bacteria from ill people in the 2016–2018 outbreak of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter infections linked to pet store puppies.
  • Campylobacter bacteria isolated from clinical samples from ill people in this outbreak are resistant to commonly recommended, first-line antibiotics. For more information, see CDC’s Advice to Clinicians.
  • The investigation is ongoing. CDC will provide updates when more information is available.