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(DALLAS, TX) Wednesday, July 13, 2022 — Tomorrow, the SPCA of Texas will re-open its animal shelter in Dallas for adoptions after being closed due to the canine distemper virus (CDV) outbreak that began in early June. The Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center will resume its normal adoption hours, which are seven days a week from noon to 6 p.m., and will welcome back volunteers, adopters and community members. This re-opening is for adoptions only at this one location, and at this time the SPCA of Texas is not able to take in any animals, including those previously adopted, those surrendered by owners and non-emergency stray animals from unincorporated Dallas County or Ellis County.
After the first cases of CDV at the SPCA of Texas were identified, in consultation with veterinary viral disease expert Cynda Crawford, DVM, PhD, the SPCA of Texas’ medical team, led by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Amber Alu, developed a proactive, broad-based response plan to maximize lifesaving, minimize further spread of the virus and protect the community.
Two weeks after testing all dogs exhibiting symptoms and isolating those that tested positive for CDV, the SPCA of Texas completed tests for all dogs in each of the three facilities affected by the outbreak. Because up to half of all dogs infected with distemper are asymptomatic, this round of testing was critical to determine if any of the dogs in care are shedding the distemper virus without any observable symptoms.
No further dogs tested positive at the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center, so that animal shelter is able to re-open to the public and all animals in the facility are available for adoption, foster or transfer. However, because dogs at the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center and the Ellis County Animal Care Center tested positive, those with CDV have been isolated for treatment and dogs at the two facilities will be tested again in two weeks. Any new CDV positive test result at either location restarts the two-week countdown for that facility and then another round of tests would occur at each affected location. This would continue until no distemper is detected at each location individually.
As a part of this plan, the following SPCA of Texas facilities will remain closed to adopters, volunteers and community members for at least another two weeks:
While the Martin Clinic is closed to the public to provide isolation for dogs in treatment for CDV, all public spay, neuter and wellness care will take place at the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Veterinary Care Clinic at Village Fair.
Many of the SPCA of Texas’ programs and services will remain open and available during this period. These include:
Recently, many shelters in North Texas have been facing similar outbreaks. The SPCA of Texas recommends that dog owners consult with their veterinarian to ensure that their pets are up to date on vaccinations. The organization encourages owners whose pets are in need of vaccinations to make an appointment at the SPCA of Texas Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Veterinary Care Clinic at Village Fair.
For more information on CDV, as well as future updates as more information becomes available, visit spca.org/distemper.
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