LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. -- A deadly virus has taken over the Lancaster County Animal Shelter, causing the shelter to close until further notice.
Over the past month, the shelter’s manager Alan Williams says he received numerous calls about dogs who were rescued from the shelter getting sick.
He says the symptoms were similar to a cold.
“They don’t feel like eating they don’t’ feel like drinking, Williams said. “Once we got to that fourth phone call I’m thinking something is going on.”
Wednesday morning, a clinic in Monroe confirmed the deadly virus as distemper.
The virus is spreading across the country, causing the Faulkner Animal Hospital to put a sign on their doors that reads, "Due to a recent outbreak of DISTEMPER, we ask if your dog is coughing to please return to your CAR after signing in with the front desk. Please wait there to be called to be examined.”
“We’ve seen five to eight cases recently,” said Summer Haywood. Haywood is a vet technician at the hospital.
“It’s so pitiful they have seizures they can’t control themselves,” she said.
Out of those cases, five dogs had to be put down. Doctors say the virus can’t be treated only the symptoms. So, make sure your pets are vaccinated.
Haywood says, “when they’re puppies get their shots and get boosters, that’s a really good way to prevent them from that. As they get older yearly vaccinations.”
The shelter is now going through a deep cleanse. The manager hopes the shelter reopen by Monday.