HOUSTON, TX — BARC, the City of Houston’s Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, announced that they would close all services to the public starting from July 4 through July 12.
The step was taken to address an unusually high presence of upper respiratory illness, and one confirmed positive case of distemper in the shelter.
BARC Shelter Director Greg Damianoff, “Out of concern for the hundreds of healthy animals who come to BARC each week, as well as BARC’s spay and neuter and wellness clinic customers, BARC is taking immediate, preemptive measures to isolate the issue.”
He also said, “This will allow BARC to focus our resources on treating sick animals and prevent further spread within the shelter population.”
BARC will continue its efforts to conduct animal control and bite case investigations while taking in injured, sick or fading animals during the closure.
Meanwhile, the organization’s foster clinic will still be open, but services will be restricted to drive-through only.
During this time, BARC plans to recognize, insulate and medicate infected animals and carefully observe healthy but exposed animals for future symptoms.
The shelter will ensure that no animals are placed in the community until they have no longer any symptoms or past the incubation period and undertake deep cleaning to reduce further contamination.
BARC has recently confiscated seven dogs that were exposed and possibly infected with distemper. One case of which was confirmed positive.
The exposed remaining dogs have been isolated, and the BARC is awaiting test results to determine if it needs to take additional precautions.
Symptoms of distemper may include thick nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing. In severe cases, distemper may also cause seizures, tremors and death
BARC advises anyone who has adopted dogs from its shelter that show potential symptoms to contact the organization for free medical treatment.
The shelter will also refund adoptions fees and accept returned animals from those who are incapable or not ready to take care of potentially sick animals.
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