An outbreak of acute, fatal, hemorrhagic pneumonia was observed in more than 1,000 mixed breed dogs in a single animal shelter. The Department of Anatomic Pathology at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine performed necropsies on dogs that were found moribund in acute respiratory distress or found dead with evidence of nasal bleeding. All dogs had hemothorax and an acute, fibrinosuppurative pneumonia. Large numbers of gram-positive cocci were observed within the lungs of all dogs and within septic thromboemboli of remote organs in about 50% of cases. Bacterial cultures from the dogs and their environment revealed widespread beta-hemolytic Streptococus equi subspecies zooepidemicus (Lancefield Group C). Extensive diagnostic testing failed to reveal the consistent presence of copathogens in individual cases. The clinical, epidemiologic, molecular biologic, and pathologic data indicate that a single clone of S. zooepidemicus was the cause of an acutely fatal respiratory infection in these dogs.