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If any dogs test positive for Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) at the shelter, we are immediately isolating them at our medical teams counsel and attempting to get them into a foster home. Since distemper positive dogs can shed the virus to other dogs for up to 3 months, they need to be isolated for that entire period or they pose a risk to other dogs at the shelter.

While CDV is highly contagious to other dogs, it is NOT contagious to humans or cats, so the rest of your family is not at risk. Also, CDV is easily disinfected, so taking home a distemper positive dog does not contaminate your home for future four legged friends so long as basic hygiene practices are taken. The virus has the ability to shed through any bodily fluids and include saliva, urine, and feces. This means, as a foster, the dog must be isolated to your home the entire time. If you live in a house your dog will be isolated to your house and backyard only.

Foster dogs:

  • Must be isolated in the home and not taken out into the public (no dog parks, dog-friendly patios, play-dates, etc)
  • Can not be taken on walks in public areas
  • Can not be taken into stores or dog parks
  • Family and friends cannot bring their dogs over to socialize with the foster dog

Lastly, as a foster parent of an infected CDV dog, you are agreeing to bringing the dog to the shelter for periodic testing performed curbside.

All of the positive dogs at the shelter will remain safely isolated until a foster home can be found, but spending months at the shelter is not ideal for any dog. And, keeping them in the shelter can still present risk of spread to the 500+ other dogs in our facilities.

Please reach out via email at if you are able to foster a CDV positive dog this summer.


Shelter Dogs POSITIVE for Distemper

These dogs have had a PCR test that was POSITIVE for CDV (canine distemper virus). These dogs must go to a foster home with no other dogs and with a dedicated yard for the dog to relieve himself/herself without potential exposure to dogs in neighboring homes. The foster commitment may be up to three months.

Able to help? Email

Shelter Dogs NEGATIVE for Distemper

but with low antibodies

These dogs have had a PCR test that was NEGATIVE for CDV (canine distemper virus). However, these dogs also had low antibody levels, meaning that these dogs have diminished immune systems that will make it harder to fight off CDV if they are exposed. Because we’ve had positive CDV cases in the shelter environment, we want to move these dogs out of the shelter to ensure that they stay healthy and CDV negative.

These dogs can be in homes with other dogs if their behavior profiles recommend it as long as all dogs in the home are up to date on vaccinations. However they should not go to doggie day care, dog parks, play dates, or other gatherings of dogs where vaccination statuses are unknown.

Able to help? Email