ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Animal Services announced the hiring of a new veterinarian amid recent health concerns that occurred at the Verona Street Animal Shelter.

Back in June, the City of Rochester closed the shelter as Rochester Animal Services investigated a gastrointestinal health issue. As a result, two dogs died from the illness, which affected 23 of the dogs at the shelter.

Dr. Kristen Braitkrus, who has over 10 years of experience working with animals, was hired at RAS last week. She ordered testing for the dogs experiencing symptoms and confirmed the dogs have canine infectious respiratory disease complex — also known as kennel cough.

According to Dr. Braitkrus, the more aggressive strain of kennel cough that was affecting the dogs was caused by an emerging organism, which wasn’t prevented by the vaccine. Around 25 dogs were separated from the other animals at the shelter and responded well to treatment.

“CIRDC is a common illness that dogs can contract when in close contact with other dogs,” said Dr. Braitkrus. “The shelter team moved quickly to separate, diagnose and treat the dogs to protect the health and the wellness of other animals in the shelter and help the affected dogs get better.”

In addition, Dr. Braitkus says that there are still plenty of healthy dogs and cats looking for loving homes.

“If you have been looking to adopt or foster a pet, there’s no better time than the present to give an animal the precious gift of a second chance at a happy life and free up space in the shelter for another animal in need,” said Dr. Braitkus.

The city says the shelter will be open for pet adoptions through appointments only through August 28. Wal-up services are available from 12 to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.