GETTING RESULTS: Huntsville Animal Services cleared out following urgent appeal for dog foster homes

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Good news -- you heard Huntsville Animal Services' call for help and you answered in a big way.

Earlier this week, Dr. Karen Hill Sheppard issued an urgent appeal for people to adopt or foster dogs to help clear out the facility because of a respiratory illness spreading.  As of Thursday afternoon, she said the adoption room is empty and the dogs are all placed in foster homes or with rescue groups.  She expressed her gratitude to each person who came in to help.

Crews are now scrubbing the walls and floors thoroughly with bleach to get rid of germs, after a respiratory virus broke out earlier this week.

The infection sickened several dogs and even killed three, and a puppy.

Karen Buchan is the animal care supervisor at the shelter. She said she hasn't seen anything like this since she starting working at the city animal shelter. However, she added she also hasn't seen as many empty kennels either.

More than 200 dogs had to be cleared out when the shelter issued the call for help.

Cleaning crews will continue their work.

"We're scrubbing walls. We're doing all kinds of things for disinfecting. We disinfect everyday, but I've never had to scrub all the walls," Buchan said. "We've got to get the air filtered out, fresh air in."

It will take about two weeks to make the kennels safe again.

Only dogs showing no signs of respiratory illness were made available for adoption. The shelter sought foster families to temporarily care for sick but treatable pets. They were sent home with medication. Also, if you have other pets at home already and they have basic vaccines, they won't catch the cold full-fledged.


  • Penny

    How can we as a community get our animal control center cleaned up with better conditions for the animals and of course more adoptions going out? I looked on the animal services website, it is not easy to find pictures of all the animals for adoption. They REALLY should fix that. PLEASE everyone interested in helping should go to the site and look at the dogs & cats for adoption. I am not sure how often they update the photos or if more animals are available.
    We should all pitch in and try and get our Huntsville Animal Services operating better for our community and eventually become a no kill shelter. That is something we could all be proud of for sure. Lets be creative and brainstorm some ideas to solve this animal control issue here in Huntsville. It is clear more needs to be done.

  • taralynnehansen

    Basic vaccinces would have prevented it all.
    Not to mention cleaning.
    I dont agree that the dogs were allowed to be placed in the public .
    That is a sure fire way to incress other animals to get the diseases

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