The SPCA of Texas Ellis County Animal Care Center is open again in Waxahachie, Texas and is back to normal routine.
After two months of quarantine, the Texas SPCA Ellis County Animal Care Center is reopening for adoptions.
Beginning Tuesday, August 9, 2022, the Animal Shelter and Adoption Center will resume normal hours of operation Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The reopening comes two months after the shelter closed to ensure the dogs at the shelter were safe from the canine distemper virus.
“We’re just excited that things are moving and we have animals that will be coming home soon – animals that are coming in strays, and oh my goodness, it’s been a journey,” says Maura Davies, Texas SPCA vice president of the marketing and communications.
In early June, a dog taken in by the organization tested positive for CDV, prompting the organization to close the shelter, suspend adoptions, and isolate any dogs that had been exposed to the virus. Maura explains that because CDV can remain asymptomatic for two weeks and shows no signs in half of the dogs that catch it, tests to ensure all dogs were free of the disease were started every two weeks until ’till all tests showed conclusively negative results in all dogs at the shelter. During the mandate, any dog with a positive test was transferred to the Texas SPCA Myron K. Martin Clinic, which has a contained HVAC system and the resources to isolate and treat infected animals until they recover.
The Myron K. Martin Clinic is one of two veterinary clinics the organization operates in Dallas, and the clinic will remain closed to the public while the organization continues to care for dogs infected with the virus that has spread. in North Texas during an outbreak that began in 2021.
“It is very, very difficult to determine the location of the distemper, because we may have received more than one dog infected with the distemper virus. So what it tells us though is that there is distemper circulating in the community,” Maura says. “And so dogs that haven’t been vaccinated, that don’t have that distemper immunity are more at risk. So strays, animals that haven’t been vaccinated – those are more likely to get distemper because their immunity is low.
The distemper virus can affect a dog’s respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, and central nervous system. Symptoms range from no visible signs of illness, to mild respiratory problems such as runny nose and eyes, to severe respiratory symptoms, thickened footpads or nasal skin, seizures, neurological deficits and decline. Animals can be contagious for months. Animals receiving medical care can survive infection, although some die. The distemper virus does not infect humans.
Infection is easily prevented in dogs by a vaccine that has an efficacy rate of 99%. All dogs available for adoption through the Texas SPCA have been vaccinated against CDV and received all other appropriate vaccines.
During the containment effort, all shelters run by the organization suspended dog adoptions and closed to the public, reopening one at a time only after each location was determined to be virus-free. Each dog was tested during the shutdown on a two-week schedule, and due to the hundreds of dogs in the care of the Texas SPCA, the organization’s veterinary staff worked around the clock to meet the dogs’ needs. who are recovering from the virus while continuing to neuter, neuter, vaccinate and give general care to the rest of the animals in preparation for their day of adoption.
The effort generated huge expenses for the organization, funded by the generosity of Texas SPCA supporters.
“People can trust that the Texas SPCA has done everything in our power and resources to ensure that everything is done to ensure that animals get out of all of our facilities, especially our facilities. adoption – that these guys are testing negative for distemper and we want to send these guys to loving homes,” she says. “We want people to have happy, healthy pets.”
Visit the Texas SPCA’s Find a Pet page to see adoptable pets.
To donate to the cause, visit the Texas SPCA donation page.