A suspected parasitic disease has left three pet centre employees requiring hospital treatment.
Staff at Pet Mania, based in Stockton, became unwell following the treatment of sick lambs.
The illness is thought to be the parasite Cryptosporidium, which can cause diarrhoea, fever and vomiting.
Two staff members have been discharged, but one still remains in hospital recovering.
Business development manager William Smith told Teeside Gazette Live.: “There has been three members of the team who have been in hospital.
“They became ill after looking after some lambs who were unwell.
“Most have been in for a day and were OK after. They are now out. Only one person is still in hospital. I spoke to her this morning and she seems to be improving.”
He added: “We trade on our reputation so if we had the public at risk, that’s 100% not acceptable.