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Animal Shelter closed following distemper outbreak

January 20th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

The Cumberland Times News reports an outbreak of canine distemper has forced the Allegany County Animal Shelter to close intake and suspend adoptions. Officials announced the move on the shelter Facebook page Thursday night.

The quarantine is expected to last at least 30 days. Shelter officials said they are working closely with veterinarians at North Branch Animal Hospital.


"We believe we have identified the dog that initially brought the distemper to the shelter and are working with our vets to monitor our dog population closely and treat accordingly," a shelter official said.

Canine distemper is a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The virus can also be found in wildlife such as foxes, wolves, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, mink and ferrets and has been reported in lions, tigers, leopards and other wild cats as well as seals.


Shelter officials urged owners to ensure their dogs are up to date on all vaccinations and contact their veterinarian immediately if their dog may be symptomatic.

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