Humane Society combating animal virus outbreak - Tucson News Now

Humane Society combating animal virus outbreak

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona has temporarily stopped accepting dogs into their shelter until they can deal with the distemper virus, which has spread to some animals in the facility.

Workers at the animal shelter spent Tuesday washing and sanitizing each kennel to get rid of the contagious distemper virus.

The virus can affect dog's breathing, cause severe stomach problems and even attack an animal's central nervous system, according to Humane Society of Southern Arizona Clinic Director Pat Brayer.

Animal shelter workers said they are doing everything they can to prevent the virus from spreading. Brayer said proper vaccination is the most important way to prevent distemper from spreading.

"We want to insure that the highest standards and best practice of medical care exist at all times here at our shelter," Brayer said Tuesday. "Because of that we are requiring that all dogs that are brought into the shelter or surrendered by their owners are fully vaccinated before they enter our facility and we're encouraging people to partake in our free vaccinations."

HSOSA will not start accepting dogs into the shelter until June 23, but Brayer said the shelter is still open for adoption services.

In the mean time, if you need to drop off a dog, Pima Animal Care Center is an option. PACC has seen a few cases of distemper, like they do every year, but they workers said they have been able to isolate the situation at the shelter by checking for distemper when an animal is first dropped off.

However, PACC workers said people should only use the shelter as a last resort for dropping off dogs and cats because they already have over 700 animals in their care.

For a list of free vaccination clinics, click here: http://bit.ly/1kLxUj0

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