Why Will The Levelland Shelter Be Closed For At Least A Month?
If you attempted to visit the Levelland Animal Shelter today, you likely found that it was closed. This will be the case for at least a month, possibly up to 120 days (about four months). Why is this vital community service so abruptly offline, and why will it be unavailable for so long?
The closure is the result of an animal testing positive for Distemper. The animal was a stray that the shelter took in. Distemper is a highly contagious and dangerous viral infection that can make animals very sick, and even kill them:
Canine distemper [...] attacks a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological systems. The parvovirus mainly targets the gastrointestinal tract resulting in vomiting and bloody diarrhea.
To prevent the spread of the illness into the community, the Levelland Shelter must control the outbreak and sanitize its facility before it can be opened again. This action complies with the Texas Health Department's zoonosis control program.
The Lubbock Animal Shelter encountered the same problem back in July of this year, resulting in a weeks-long closure and the death of 34 animals who either succumbed to the illness or were so sick they had to be euthanized.
Of course, the lack of shelter facilities can cause major problems. Without the ability to take in animals, stray dogs and cats could be left to wander neighborhoods and fend for themselves. This situation is not ideal, but it's better than many animals getting Distemper.
Distemper can be prevented by taking your animal in for routine vaccinations. If you want to protect your pet and prevent shutdowns such as these, please get your animals vaccinated. To prevent pet overpopulation, please spay or neuter your pet.
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