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Garland Animal Services Resumes Normal Operations After Distemper Crisis

GARLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - The canine distemper outbreak at Garland Animal Services has been contained, the agency said Tuesday.

The disinfection process has been completed and the shelter resumed normal operations Tuesday morning, it said.

Out of 124 dogs tested, 33 were confirmed positive for the highly contagious disease. All positive dogs have been placed with fosters, animal rescue groups or a local veterinarian who is treating the sick animals. 21 dogs that tested negative but may have been exposed are currently being housed in temporary kennels next to the shelter awaiting rescue.

Shelter veterinarian Dr. Autumn Paul and relief veterinarian Dr. Bill Dunn have examined and cleared those dogs for adoption. No dogs are currently showing any symptoms of the disease. Any new intakes will continue to be vaccinated against distemper and other diseases. The dogs will not be tested for canine distemper as they are brought in.

Last Friday, dozens of dogs were evacuated and sent to a temporary facility for treatment.

Garland Animal Services said new intake control measures will be implemented to "further limit our risk of disease exposure."

Staff will carefully monitor all dogs for any signs of the disease and take appropriate action to prevent the potential spread, GAS said.

Among the changes:

- Supervised vaccination as animals are unloaded
- Enhanced training on disease identification to separate potentially sick animals as early as possible
- Changing the drop off location to the side of the shelter to better separate incoming animals from isolation
- Supervised disinfection after suspected cases have been offloaded
- Testing of suspected infections

The Garland Animal Shelter will participate in a Clear the Shelter event this Saturday, as well as at the Pet Adoption Center at 813 Main St. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"Garland Animal Services would, again, like to thank all of the volunteers, rescue groups, veterinarians and community members who offered a helping hand or provided valuable resources during this difficult situation. We would also like to remind all pet owners to make sure your pets are up to date on their vaccinations. If anyone has any questions please contact shelter staff at or by calling 972-205-3570."

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