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Volunteers Try To Save Dogs During Distemper Crisis At North Texas Animal Shelter

GARLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - An evacuation is underway in Garland. It's an effort to save dogs from an outbreak of a deadly disease at Garland Animal Services where more than two dozen dogs have been diagnosed with distemper.

Garland shelter dog
Garland shelter dog (CBS11)

Volunteers from Plano and as far away as Austin have come to the rescue with a triage RV where some of the sick dogs are getting treatment.

The plan is to move all 41 dogs out of there Friday so the facility can be thoroughly cleaned.

So a temporary shelter is being set up inside this huge covered garage nearby.

temporary shelter for Garland shelter dogs
temporary shelter for Garland shelter dogs (J.D. Miles - CBS11)

The garage is where Garland keeps its stockpiles of coating for icy roads.

The piles will be pushed back so kennels can be brought in to help deal with this distemper crisis.

Twenty-seven dogs have tested positive for the virus that does not affect humans but can be fatal to dogs if left untreated.

At least six dogs had to be euthanized.

But the staff in Garland with the help of a shih tzu rescue and Austin Pets Alive are determined to save as many dogs as they can.

Rescue groups are already bonding with the canines in their care.

"We're taking one back," said Jordana Morerbe of Austin Pets Alive. "I wish we could take more back to Austin they are such sweet dogs. Walking them, having them rub all over your legs and them wanting to be petted. You want to take them all home."

Adoptions have been suspended except for cats which don't carry distemper.

The dogs may need to stay in the temporary shelter for more than a week.

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