Rescuers concerned if Franklin Co. Dog Shelter distemper has spread into community

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Kristin Beaupry held back tears as she petted her 9-year-old dog, Santana.

“It's 24-hour care. Monitoring her, making sure that she's still breathing,” Beaupry said.

Beaupry is the founder of Pitti Paw Rescue in Centerburg. She is now taking care of 12 dogs and often rescues pups from the Franklin County Dog Shelter.

“She was vaccinated on intake at the shelter which can take about three days to kick in,” she said of Santana, who was rescued August 19.

Beaupry says Santana showed no signs of illness when she first entered the home but eventually began releasing green discharge from her nose and her eyes.

“She started showing severe signs about seven days ago,” Beaupry said.

Beaupry says Santana has gotten worse and is now showing neurological dysfunction.

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“Her back legs are giving out on her,” Beaupry said. “It's very heartbreaking because you see a dog that you just saved from the shelter from death row and then now she's right back on it.”

A canine with distemper could be infected for several days before it begins to show symptoms.

Beaupry says she was never told that Santana may have been exposed to the illness.

“We have not received any communication from the shelter at this point,” Beaupry said.

Now, Beaupry is worried whether or not her other dogs have contracted the disease.

“Had we have known prior to this, I would not have had her around my dogs,” Beaupry said. “She would have been isolated.”

Santana was tested for distemper on Saturday. Results will be available Tuesday morning.

Meantime, Santana is being quarantined at home, well-fed and hydrated while family members sanitize as much as they can.