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Dog adoptions, intake suspended at BARCS after case of canine virus discovered

UPDATE (Nov. 29, 2017): The quarantine has been lifted. You can read the original story below.

Dog adoptions and arrivals have been suspended at the Baltimore animal shelter BARCS, after a dog there tested positive for the virus canine distemper.

All dogs that could have been exposed to the virus have been placed on quarantine, according to a post on the BARCS website. No dogs can be admitted to the shelter, and all dogs that could have been exposed to the virus are under “medical supervision” until their health can be ensured, according to the post.

The quarantine should last a minimum of 10 days, said Jennifer Brause, executive director of BARCS. The infected dog, which had been brought into the shelter as a stray, had been in the facility for about three weeks, she said.

Canine distemper, a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems, is contagious to other dogs, but cannot be transmitted to humans or cats, according to the BARCS website.

The post said anyone who adopted dogs that may have been exposed to the virus are being contacted. It also said BARCS is looking for homes for more than 10 dogs that have been “medically cleared” for adoption and are being housed in a separate facility.

The shelter’s cats are available for adoption, and fees have been waived.

Brause urged people to be sure their dogs are properly vaccinated against canine distemper. “If your dog has this vaccine, that can save its life,” she said.

ckaltenbach@baltsun.com

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