Franklin County Dog Shelter to remain closed for the weekend due to distemper

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More than 200 dogs are being tested at the Franklin County Shelter and Adoption Center for distemper, a viral disease commonly contracted from wild animals.

Shelter officials say one case of distemper was confirmed. That dog was later euthanized.

“A dog was here at the shelter, [it] was adopted, ended up coming back and then showed symptoms of the illness,” Don Winstel, Director of Franklin County Department of Animal Care and Control, said.

Winstel said the illness initial shows similar symptoms to kennel cough. Symptoms like fever and discharge from the nose and eyes eventually begin to impact the animals respiratory and nervous systems.

Shelter officials closed the center Friday to test 280 animals for the disease.

“Today is just a pause for us to strategize ways to continue to protect the public, to continue to protect the rest of the dogs that we have and assess the dogs that we have,” Winstel said.

Dozens of potential adopters were turned away Friday.

The shelter says a second dog was also euthanized on Friday. Winstel says that dog was not confirmed to have had distemper but showed deathly symptoms of the disease.

A lab will determine the cause of death at a later time.

The shelter was closed Friday and officials with the shelter said it will remain closed through the weekend.

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