One dog at the Mobile County Animal Shelter in AL got sick over the weekend and on Monday, it was “obvious the dog had distemper” per the county spokesman. Vets were reportedly consulted and 49 dogs who had been “exposed” were immediately killed. These included dogs who had been adopted on the weekend, whose owners opted to return them to the pound after being contacted with what I imagine was a ZOMG – Plague! type phone call.
It is not reflective of standard disease prevention shelter practices if one dog in a shelter gets sick and 49 more are determined to have been exposed. How does that even happen? If the Mobile Co pound had been vaccinating upon intake across the board, utilizing routine cleaning practices and quarantining new arrivals, I don’t see how 49 dogs could have been exposed to distemper. Moreover, exposure is not disease. From the Koret Shelter Medicine Program info sheet on Canine Distemper Virus (CDV):
The most important factor in disease risk is vaccination: a “fully” vaccinated animal over four months of age is at very low risk of CDV infection. However, even incompletely vaccinated animals may survive a possible exposure.
But none of these 49 dogs were given a chance to prove they weren’t sick and/or were immune. They were all needlessly killed by the county employees paid to protect them from harm. It sounds to me like people are not doing their jobs at the Mobile Co pound and need to be replaced. Pronto. Before some other poor dog gets sick and another killing spree ensues.