*a post by the mom
There was some disturbing news that came out locally here over the weekend.
I got a text from a friend on Saturday that there was speculation circulating that there was an outbreak of canine distemper at the county run dog shelter. In our area, this is where all stray dogs are taken and there are also owner surrenders. There has been some management turn over and questions about how the county commissioners are running everything. And keep in mind that this place is using local county tax dollars to operate.
This is the timeline as best I can figure out:
August 31 - a dog was surrendered (or returned - there is some question about that) and processed through. The dog was later determined to be seriously ill and was euthanized. The shelter at that point supposedly suspected distemper. The dog was also not quarantined and thereby exposed other dogs in the shelter.
10 days later, speculation started on social media that the dog shelter had a distemper outbreak. There was nothing in any news reports and the shelter made no statement.
In the 10 days from the intake of the sick dog and exposure, intakes and adoptions and rescue placements continued to happen. NO ONE was notified of any exposure risk.
On Sunday a protest/memorial was held at the shelter when news leaked that 52 dogs had already been killed on Sunday morning. At that point the shelter issued a statement that they would be closed on Sunday to the public due to a health issue. It wasn't until later that day that they confirmed the deaths of these 52 dogs and stated there had been exposure to distemper.
Don't misunderstand me....I do NOT blame staff or volunteers.
This is absolutely a management issue.
Where were the quarantine protocols? Vaccinations can and should be done on intake, but the protection is not immediate.
Where was the notification? Adopters and rescues received NO NOTICE about this risk. There are now statements that several dogs pulled into rescue are showing upper respiratory symptoms and one has developed neurological issues. The news stations yesterday finally reported that the shelter intends to send letters to people who adopted during that time. But they are refusing to allow adopters to bring those dogs adopted during that time to be examined. Adopters are being told to take the dogs to their own vet to be tested. And at the adopters cost. The news reported 2 families returned dogs adopted during that time and both dogs were immediately put down.
This place has already face issues with how they determine behavior to get to the adoption floor. Rescues know full well that they have to move quick to save dogs from THE list....one dog our rescue pulled was a chihuahua that they said was "nervous" during the test. ummmm - duh?? (They are also still using a behavior test that the originator has since said is now invalid)
In the meantime, the news is reporting that the total number of dogs now killed is up to 64.
Beyond politics and arguments, 64 DOGS LOST THEIR LIVES
How can you help if you want? Spread the word. And we know several rescues in central Ohio have taken in dogs....