Shelter puts down dogs to prevent spread of distemper - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Shelter puts down dogs to prevent spread of distemper

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Florence authorities made the decision to put down nine dogs at the Florence/Lauderdale Animal Shelter. Florence authorities made the decision to put down nine dogs at the Florence/Lauderdale Animal Shelter.
FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

Florence authorities made the decision to put down nine dogs at the Florence/Lauderdale Animal Shelter on Tuesday.

Police Chief Ron Tyler said they killed the dogs to prevent the spread of distemper, a highly contagious and usually fatal disease.

One shelter dog showed signs of having the disease on Tuesday. The shelter euthanized the dog and eight other animals that had close, prolonged contact with the dog.

"It is unfortunate that this has occurred, but it is essential to prevent the further spread of disease and to protect the other animals at the shelter," said Tyler on the police department's Facebook page.

For the rest of the week, the shelter will be extra cautious about sending other animals out of the shelter.

Tyler said the shelter is "rightfully required" to take in sick and injured animals. He said sometimes diseases don't show up right away and aren't always readily recognizable.

He said the decision to put the animals down was made in the interest of public health and safety.

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