Dallas Animal Shelter dealing with small distemper outbreak

Dallas Animal Shelter is dealing with a small outbreak of a serious disease in its shelter dogs. Six cases of canine distemper have been confirmed.

Shelter manager Jordan Craig stopped by Good Day to explain what the concerns are.

“All dog owners should be aware of what the canine distemper virus is. It is here in our community and in Texas as a whole,” Craig said.

Distemper is a virus and much like the common cold, it is spread from nose to nose contact with other animals. It’s only contagious among dogs, ferrets and wild animals such as coyotes and raccoons.

Craig said the shelter has made some changes to help prevent the spread and protect other dogs. For example, dogs are now vaccinated before they ever get through the doors of the shelter.

“We’re addressing the situation on a day-by-day basis and taking extra precautions to make sure that the animals in our care are very safe,” she said.

She said owners in the area really just need to make sure their dogs are vaccinated.

“It’s a vaccination just like if you were going to take your kids to school. You want to make sure they’re fully vaccinated. Same thing with your animal. If you’re going to take them out in any environment that’s outside of your home, it’s really important that you have a vaccine on board,” Craig said.

There are three upcoming opportunities for low-cost vaccinations. The Spay Neuter Network is offering free distemper vaccinations at the Southern Dallas Animal Services clinic Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Low-cost vaccinations are also being offered in West Dallas at the Dallas Animal Services clinic off Westmoreland Road from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Finally, the SPCA of Texas offers low-cost vaccinations at their clinic Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon.