Puppy parade goes virtual after dog disease fears

Organisers say dog fans have been supportive of their decision to cancel the real life parade on Sunday.

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File picture of a woman holding a puppy / Credit: iStock

Organisers of the annual Puppy Parade in Helsinki say they’re canceling this year’s events over fears of a mysterious dog illness that’s killed a number of pets in neighbouring Norway.

The event was due to take place on Sunday afternoon in the capital, but now organisers say they’ll host a ‘virtual event’ instead over concerns about animal health.

“We have discussed the issue with vets, and discussed the impact of the situation on our event. Very little information is available so far, but the risks of organising the event are simply too high” organisers wrote on the event’s Facebook page.

More than two dozen dogs have died from the mysterious illness in Norway, although no cases have been confirmed in Finland so far.

Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting, but seem to be localised with vets in Norway saying that in some households one pet might get sick and die but the another dog in the same family didn’t get ill at all.

“If your dog finds symptoms similar to this disease, that is, sudden bloody diarrhea and vomiting, you must contact the vet immediately” the Puppy Parade organisers told their Facebook followers.

Since an actual real life parade is now out of the question, there’s going to be a virtual event where owners share pictures and videos of their puppies online.

The event organisers say they’ve had a positive response from fans about the decision to cancel Sunday’s parade and hope the situation will change for next spring when the next parade is scheduled.

“It is also nice to hear that you think the decision to cancel is the right decision. Hopefully for the parade next spring, the sun is shining and the germs are gone!”