BARCS Suspends Intake, Adoptions After Illness Is Discovered

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A serious illness is discovered at a Baltimore animal shelter.

BARCS is suspending their dog intake and adoptions after discovering a case of canine distemper.

Doctors say it is as simple as a vaccine to protect your dog from a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease.

A dog quarantine is in effect at BARCS animal shelter after one of their dogs tested positive for canine distemper.

“What we have done at the shelter to protect the animals at the shelter here, and not expose other animals, we have closed down to accepting new dogs into the shelter,” said Jennifer Brause, BARCS executive director.

The virus attacks a dog’s respiratory and nervous systems. It can also infect wild animals who can then spread the disease to your pet.

It’s important to keep your dogs away from wildlife or other animals that can be carrying it,” said Dr. Kelly Zier.

Falls Road Animal Hospital Dr. Zier says the airborne disease is highly contagious.

“There is no cure, so it is something that a lot of dogs eventually succumb to,” Dr. Zier said.

The best defense against the virus is proper vaccination.

Which includes a series of shots for puppies, and shots at regular intervals for adult dogs.

“Being an open admission shelter, we are taking in animals from all over Baltimore City, so we are a source to know what is in our community and we know we have various strains of illnesses,” Brause said.

BARCS vaccinates all their dogs once they enter the shelter, however, some animals may not be properly vaccinated and already infected upon arrival.

A good reminder to stay on top of your pet’s health.

It’s recommended to check with your vet to see if your dog is up to date on all their vaccinations.

BARCS wants to remind the public they are still open. Their cats are not at-risk and are available for adoption.

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