New case of canine distemper confirmed at Alachua County animal shelter, three cases in total

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – A virus outbreak at the Alachua County Animal Shelter has stopped all dog adoptions for now.

Two cases were originally reported in a press release sent by Alachua County Animal Resources & Care on Friday, with Director Ed Williams confirmed another case on Monday.

Canine distemper is one of the many viruses against which most annual vaccines given by veterinarians to companion animals are vaccinated. Puppies and unvaccinated dogs are the most vulnerable. The virus is usually spread when a dog has been in contact with other forms of wildlife.

“We have a lot of raccoons and things like that that can be on display and if you take your dog out into the yard or for a walk you come across an area where a raccoon has been recently, they can if they aren’t. fully vaccinated, contract the virus, ”said Williams.

RELATED STORY: Alachua County Animal Resources has suspended all adoptions after outbreak

Due to the diagnosis of these three cases, all dogs in the shelter are quarantined. The shelter won’t be accepting new dogs, but if a stray dog ​​is returned, it will scan it for a microchip and then ask whoever found the dog to keep it in their home for now. Williams says this lack of ability to adopt dogs can put a strain on the shelter’s resources.

“Well that makes it tough at the animal shelter, as you can imagine. We have quite a few dogs here, so when we get to where the dogs are that a certain segment of the population is not allowed to go, it’s going to strain resources pretty quickly, ”said Williams.

Dog adoptions can be suspended for two to four weeks, other services provided by the shelter such as cat adoptions will still be available.

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Jennifer R. Strohm