Sebastian Co. Shelter Resuming Adoptions After Puppy Found With Distemper

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SEBASTIAN COUNTY (KFSM) – A Sebastian County animal shelter is resuming dog adoptions after a puppy tested positive for Canine Distemper on June 19, according to a news release.

The Sebastian County Humane Society ceased all dog adoptions last week after a puppy was found to have the deadly virus. Canine Distemper is a “very serious and often fatal viral illness” that affects dogs, according to the humane society. Shelter vets extensively tested other dogs in the shelter to see if the virus had spread to them.

The shelter announced it would resume adoptions on Wednesday afternoon (June 24).

Test results came back showing that only seven tested dogs didn’t have antibodies high enough to be cleared for adoption, the release states. Those dogs have been isolated from the rest of the animals until they can be boosted and tested again.

“We realize that this is a very aggressive and innovative response to the illness,” said Executive Director JoAnn Barton. “We have learned that many shelters are forced  to ‘depopulate’ euthanizing either all of their dogs or any dog showing signs. Our leadership team and all our staff reject this response to save as many of our dogs as we can.”

Cat adoptions were not affected by the test results because the virus cannot spread to cats, the shelter said.

For more information, contact the shelter at 479-783-4395.