Distemper outbreak closes Gadsden animal shelter for two weeks

Canine distemper outbreak closing Gadsden humane society

GADSDEN, AL (WBRC) - The Humane Society Pet Rescue and Adoption Center on Brooke Avenue in Gadsden is closed to the public and has stopped all intakes and adoptions for two weeks, until April 8.

They’ve quarantined all of the shelter’s animals during that time.

A news release says center management came to that conclusion after consulting with local veterinarians and the statewide director of the Humane Society of the United States, Mindy Gilbert.

“We have been asked to quarantine and to close down for the next two weeks, so that we can make sure that our animals are taken care of, and we can clean and sanitize the facility. And our biggest thing right is, we just want to make sure we quarantine it, and no other animals get sick,” said the center’s marketing director, Jessica Millican.

Humane Society employees say they don’t know how distemper got into the shelter, specifically which animal introduced it, whether it was a dropoff or an animal control intake and from which part of Etowah County.

“There are several other facilities in Alabama that have cases of distemper. The biggest thing is to make sure your animals and pets are vaccinated, because unvaccinated wildlife, raccoons, things like that are what carries it,” Millican said.

Millican says animal lovers in the area who want to help the center’s animals during this time can do so through donations.

“People are asking, what can you do, for this situation. Even though, we are closed, if you could, you know, leave things at our gate, we’re really in the need for bleach, Dawn anti-bacteria, towels, sheets, blankets, pillowcases,” Millican said.

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