Metro Animal Services shuts down shelter for animal health - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Animal Services shuts down shelter for animal health

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --

For the second time since June, the Manslick Road shelter has shut down for distemper, and for upper respiratory illnesses.

"We have seen numerous cases of extreme disease in our shelter and the community," said Metro Animal Services Director Justin Scally. "It is in the best interest of the animals of Louisville Metro to implement a number of emergency policies to help prevent the spread of disease."

It usually takes weeks to months for the distemper virus to show up in pets, and now that it has with more dogs, they are taking action.

Until further notice, only animals facing emergency situations will be accepted at Louisville Metro Animal Services. This includes owner surrender animals facing serious health problems, extreme injuries, bite incidents or aggression. The same criteria is in place for strays. Citizens with animals fitting the criteria will be visiting a new intake facility located on Newburg Road. 

They will open a temporary facility where people can drop the animals off, rather than at the Manslick Road shelter.

"We'll continue to take in emergency situations involving animals, but to limit the number of other animals that are coming into the facility so that we could set up a separate intake facility, and be able to isolate, quarantine and review the animals at that location," says Justin Scally.

Animal House Adoption Center will operate under normal hours.

The highly contagious diseases such as distemper, kennel cough and other respiratory ailments have a variety of symptoms including sneezing, nasal and ocular discharge, loss of appetite, depression and neurological signs.  Every pet owner is encouraged to take precaution as the diseases continue to be an issue throughout the community and southeast region of the United States.  Getting animals vaccinated is the best way to prevent the spread of these potentially deadly diseases.

Shelter officials say opening a new temporary location will come with a price, but it's worth it for the animals.

"It is going to bring a significant cost and I think that it's something we'll have to look at and something we take seriously, but we have a serious concern for animal protection in this community and we're doing what we felt necessary to protect the animals and protect the community," says Justin Scally.

Shelter officials also say they don't know how long the Manslick Road location will be closed, but at this time they don't plan to euphemize any dogs.

To help encourage the same responsibility from pet owners, LMAS is offering two free vaccination clinics:

Saturday, October 1st 9:00 a.m. – noon Newburg Community Center 4810 Exeter Ave.

Saturday, October 8th 9:00 a.m. - noon Portland Community Center 640 North 27th St. 

Veterinarians will offer DAPP (distemper/parvo) and rabies vaccinations and answer any questions the community may have during these clinics. The canine distemper vaccine is one of the most rapidly protective vaccines available in veterinary medicine: it can provide meaningful protection within hours of administration, said UC Davis Vet staff. 

LMAS continues to take steps to educate the community and provide the best care for the animals of Louisville Metro. Veterinary staff have met with foster families and rescue groups to go over warning signs and symptoms of respiratory illnesses. 

"We will continue to reach out to the community seeking information on respiratory and other diseases," said Staff Veterinarian Carolyn E. Congleton, DVM. "It's important for us to know the health history of our animals and all animals in the community. That's the only way we will be able to slow down the spread of disease."

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