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

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.


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