WACO, TEXAS (FOX 44) — A distemper outbreak has been running rampant in Central Texas and it is hitting even harder here in Waco at the Humane Society.
The Waco Animal Welfare Board met Wednesday to discuss the on-going Distemper and recent K-9 Influenza outbreaks, also addressing what protocols leaders are taking to combat cases from rising at the Humane Society of Central Texas.
FOX 44 News spoke with City of Waco Animal Services Veterinarian Doctor Vallon today, to check in on the current state of animals within the shelter and how operations have halted and changed since the spread that started in October.
“15, 20 shelters in Texas who have been hit very, very hard by distemper. It’s just running through the state. We’ve had a very bad year for it. It’s also other states, Alabama, Arkansas. We found cases as far west as Maricopa County, Arizona, and even Alaska’s had an outbreak not too long ago.”
Roughly 16 to 18 dogs have currently tested positive for distemper, with some minor cases needing vaccinations and isolation, and others leading to the unfortunate fate of euthanization.
“Unfortunately, with our capacity and the inability to properly quarantine here because of the number of dogs we are treating and caring for, a number that did come back positive. We had to make the difficult decision to euthanize those dogs humanely to protect the rest of our population,” shares Dr. Vallon.
Between both the recent up-tick in the K-9 Influenza and the ongoing cases of Distemper, the animal shelter has euthanized roughly 45 animals.
The City of Waco has aided the humane society by providing funding that allows for frequent testing and treatment for the animals.
But there’s one most important thing you need to do for your animal according to Dr. Vallon and the Humane Society of Central Texas.
“Vaccinate your dogs. It’s extremely important. I know it’s an expense. It sucks, but it is paramount. Because when they come in here, even if we give them a vaccine the minute they arrive, they’ve never had one before. It’s not going to help them. They’re still going to be exposed. They’re still now probably get sick if they get near a dog that has something.”
The Humane Society is not accepting or bringing new dogs into its shelter to ensure the ones they have at current capacity are being taken care of.
For more information on current regulations within the Humane Society, you can visit here.