According to officials with Cincinnati Animal CARE, 25 dogs have been “humanely euthanized” due to advanced symptoms of Canine Distemper Virus. They said the illness was detected in two stray dogs that were taken into the shelter at the beginning of April.
Since then, Cincinnati Animal CARE has restricted intake and adoptions.
Meaghan Colville, the director of lifesaving operations at the shelter, told WXIX it’s “a matter of life and death.”
“Since restricting intake, we’ve still seen more than 80 dogs come through in the last week, but that is not sustainable,” she said. “More dogs will get sick if we continue at the rate of the hundreds of dogs we see on a monthly basis. Without help from the public, we will lose healthy dogs.”
The shelter said it will continue to test the dogs daily to help decrease the number of sick animals in its care. Officials said 33 cases were confirmed out of 75 tests conducted.
“We still have tests going out every day, we’re moving dogs who tested positive but are asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms to another off-site facility that we’re hoping to have up and running in the next week,” Colville explained.
The dogs who tested negative with antibodies are cleared for adoption or fostering and do not pose a threat to the community or other animals, according to the shelter.
New dog intakes are currently being housed separately, but officials said their operations are not suitable for keeping the dogs long-term.
The shelter said it is continuing to work with a CDV expert, who said community sheltering is crucial amid a viral crisis like this one.
“If you find a lost dog and it is safe to do so, keep it in the neighborhood as long as possible,” the shelter said. “Not only will this reduce its risk of exposure to viruses, [but it also] increases the chances of an animal being reunited with its family. The further an animal gets from where it was found, the odds of being reunited with its family drop from up to 90% to 17%.”
Experts said CDV is fortunately not transmissible from dogs to humans or dogs to cats.
Source: 19 News