4 dogs at Cincinnati Animal CARE die from contagious virus, spokesperson says

Cincinnati Animal Care hosts "Puppypalooza" adoption event.
Cincinnati Animal Care hosts "Puppypalooza" adoption event.(Cincinnati Animal Care)
Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 1:32 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 6, 2023 at 3:03 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The Cincinnati Animal CARE team has temporarily paused their on-site dog intake and adoptions after four dogs in their facility tested positive for a contagious disease on Monday.

According to media spokesperson Ray Anderson, the dogs tested positive for Canine Distemper Virus, an illness that primarily affects unvaccinated dogs and puppies. Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, eye and nose discharge, swelling of the paw pads and more.

“Infectious diseases of any kind in our shelter are taken seriously and treated aggressively while we exercise the highest levels of caution to mitigate the risk of further spread,” he said.

The four dogs with confirmed cases of Canine Distemper Virus did die, Anderson tells FOX19 NOW.

Currently, the Northside shelter is home to about 200 dogs, Anderson says, and pausing on-site adoptions may affect those numbers.

“This will drastically affect the organization at every level, particularly numbers,” he said. “We are restricting intake as much as possible, but no dog currently on-site can leave the facility until they are medically cleared, which could be upwards of a month.”

While adoptions are on hold, the CARE team will be housing all incoming dogs at an off-site facility. All dogs at the Northside shelter will be in quarantine until they are medically cleared.

As the Cincinnati Animal CARE team consults with veterinary teams and experts, they have compiled a list of things people can do to help.

  • Keep animals out of the shelter. If a lost dog is found, try to keep it in the neighborhood if it is safe to do so. If it is a stray dog, contact the Hamilton County Dog Wardens at 513-541-7387 and file a “found” report. Hang posters and post on social media if a dog has been found.
  • People should vaccinate their animals. The virus came from surrounding areas/neighborhoods and did not originate at the Hamilton County Shelter, the CARE team said.
  • Pet owners should not bring their dogs to public spaces where other animals could be if they are not fully vaccinated.
  • Adoptions will resume as soon as possible at the shelter’s Pet Adoption Center at 3262 Highland Ave. in Pleasant Ridge. The PAC is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting April 15 and 16.

“In the meantime, we appreciate your patience, understanding and support during what will be a challenging time for the animals in our shelter and the people who care for them,” Cincinnati Animal CARE said.

As for the other animals, the cat wing, known as Kitty City, will remain open for intake and adoption. It is important to note that CDV cannot be spread from dog to cat or dog to human, Anderson added.

For more information, visit the shelter’s website here.

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