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Animal Services Euthanizes 18 Dogs In Infectious Disease Outbreak

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MIAMI (CBS4)- Miami-Dade County’s Animal Services confirmed 18 cases of Canine Distemper among its shelter population. The dogs were euthanized Saturday.

Proactive testing conducted by the shelter helped identify the virus, the department said.

Distemper is a highly contagious viral infection which is commonly spread through airborne particles, Animal Services said. The virus frequently occurs in shelters located in communities with large numbers of unvaccinated dogs.

The existing canine population will be tested and quarantined in place at Animal Services for a period of two weeks, according to Animal Services. During this time, the department plans to closely monitor the animals for symptoms of disease and the animals will receive prophylactic antibiotic treatment for secondary bacterial infections.

The dogs will be available for adoption upon successful completion of a quarantine period.

This isn’t the first time the Miami-Dade Animal Services has reported a distemper outbreak. On March 25, 2011 CBS4 reported that the facility temporarily stopped taking in dogs and puppies until they were able to get a possible outbreak of distemper under control. Read more here.

The following services related to dogs will be affected beginning Saturday, January 7, 2012:

Temporarily Suspended Services for Dogs

Adoption/Rescue

Rabies/Microchip Clinic

Spay/Neuter Surgeries

Owner Surrender Intake

Stray Intake at Shelter

Stray Pick-Up by Animal Control Officers (if unconfined)

The following services are available during normal operating hours:

License Purchase (if rabies vaccination is current)

Citation Payments

Lost and Found

Return to Owner

All services for cats to include owner subsidized spay/neuter and adoptions will continue as normally scheduled.

According to the department, each year they receive more than 36,000 pets.

For more information visit www.miamidade.gov/animals or call 311.

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