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All Facilities Remain Closed to the Public through Mid-July

Distemper Exposure

SPCA of Texas Temporarily Suspends Intake, Adoptions

Distemper Outbreak

The SPCA of Texas continues suspension of general intake and on-site adoptions at most locations due to the recent documentation of at least fifteen dogs infected with the canine distemper virus (CDV) in its care. The suspension is expected to continue for at least the next three weeks. Recently, many shelters in North Texas have been facing similar outbreaks. Out of an abundance of caution, all dogs continue to be monitored and 155 dogs have been tested for infection. Of those tests, 144 results have been received and 15 CDV positive dogs have been identified.

In consultation with Cynda Crawford, DVM, PhD (Fredica Saltzman Endowed Professorship Chair in Shelter Medicine) of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, the SPCA of Texas’ medical team, led by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Amber Alu, has developed a proactive, broad-based response plan to maximize lifesaving, minimize further spread of the virus and protect the community.

As a part of this plan, the following SPCA of Texas facilities will be closed to adopters, volunteers and community members through Mid-July:

Many of the SPCA of Texas’ programs and services will continue during this period.

READ OUR PRESS RELEASE!

Foster Sitting

Foster Homes Needed for Distemper Positive Dogs

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.

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

VIEW DISTEMPER POSITIVE DOGS IN NEED OF FOSTER!

Information about Distemper

• Canine distemper virus (CDV) is highly contagious and can be fatal.
• It can affect the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of dogs and ferrets as well as wildlife such as raccoons, foxes, coyotes and skunks.
• Cats and humans are not at risk for infection by canine distemper virus.
• It is spread through all respiratory secretions and bodily waste.
• Pet dogs and ferrets interacting with wildlife or exposed to their waste are at risk of contracting the canine distemper virus.
• While young animals are the most vulnerable, unvaccinated dogs of all ages are susceptible.

• Symptoms range from no visible signs of illness to mild respiratory issues such as a runny nose and eyes to severe respiratory symptoms, thickened footpads or nose skin, seizures, neurological deficits and decline.
• Animals can be contagious for months.

SPCA of Texas staff is reaching out to each person who adopted a dog from May 1, 2022 through June 7, 2022. While your animal was up to date on vaccinations at the time of adoption, we will discuss the potential exposure, symptoms and testing options if your dog is exhibiting symptoms. If you have questions, please reach out to us directly at adoption@spca.org.

Dogs become infected with CDV through direct (close) contact with an infected dog’s bodily fluids or through contact with surfaces and objects that have been contaminated with the virus (e.g., grooming tools, shared water bowls, floor, hands, etc.).

There is no cure for canine distemper infection. Treatment includes supportive care, but some dogs do not survive.

“This disease is highly preventable when dogs are properly vaccinated,” said Dr. Amber Alu, SPCA of Texas Chief Medical Officer. “The vaccine is very effective and is far less expensive than treating the disease or losing your pet to the virus. I highly recommend all dog and ferret owners make sure their pets’ distemper vaccination is up to date. Dog owners should also use caution when socializing puppies or unvaccinated dogs where dogs congregate such as parks.”

• This disease is highly preventable when dogs are properly vaccinated.
• The vaccine is very effective and is far less expensive than treating the disease or losing your pet to the virus.
• Our veterinary staff recommends that all dog and ferret owners make sure their pets’ distemper vaccination is up to date.
• Dog owners should also use caution when socializing puppies or unvaccinated dogs where dogs congregate such as parks.”
• As a reminder, all SPCA of Texas animals are vaccinated on intake if no proof of vaccinations exists. But if the animal has not previously been vaccinated, it can take up to 2 weeks before any significant immunity to such viruses is achieved.

Other Ways You Can Help

Your gently used secondhand items can get a second use with SPCA of Texas animals!

ITEMS WE CAN ACCEPT INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING CLEAN, GENTLY USED ITEMS:

  • Bath Towels
  • Comforters, Blankets
  • Newspapers
  • Unopened canned dog and cat food, all varieties
  • Plastic heavy-duty tarps with grommets
  • 7″ or longer zip ties
  • Foot cover/booties
  • Cooling bandanas
  • Flats of bottled water, energy drinks, sports drinks

PLEASE NOTE: WE UNFORTUNATELY CANNOT ACCEPT THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

  • Opened bags of kibble, treats, etc
  • Prescription pet medications
  • Blankets or bedding with stuffing exposed
  • Bed or couch pillows
  • Used litter boxes
  • Used carpet
  • Fleat/tick powders or shampoos
  • Rawhide chews
  • Rope toys
  • Treats not made in the USA

More information

 

Your household items can help our animals keep their brains and bodies active.

Here are some of the items we need most:

  • empty paper towel rolls
  • empty toilet paper rolls
  • empty cereal-sized boxes
  • empty soft drink boxes
  • newspapers

These can be dropped off in the bin outside the front door of the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center, 2400 Lone Star Drive, Dallas, TX 75212.