COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ/HOWARD COUNTY PUBLIC AFFAIRS)–The Howard County Animal Control shelter will be closed until June 19 due to an outbreak of ringworm. No adoptions will occur during the shutdown.

The facility, located at 8576 Davis Road in Columbia, says it is following veterinarian recommendations for treatment, prevention and shelter cleaning.

Animals with ringworm symptoms, which include hair loss and rash, are being kept in isolation and receiving treatment.

Animals that are asymptomatic are being cultured to test for a dormant infection.

All animals will receive the first step of the treatment process while the shelter awaits test results, which can take seven days. Any animals that test positive will continue to receive further treatment, as recommended by the veterinarian.

The facility is closed because ringworm may affect people who come into contact with infected animals.

Shelter staff is encouraging owners who can no longer keep their pets to wait until after the quarantine to surrender their animals, or to take them to an alternate shelter.

The Animal Control facility will remain open for other business, including road services, lost and found animals and citizen complaints.

Staff members are cleaning the facility by veterinarian recommendations, including removal of animal bedding and toys, surface cleaning with a bleach solution and weekly replacements of air filters.

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