Distemper Testing Continues in Miami-Dade

Dog adoptions shut down for next two weeks, shelter offers free testing

By Julia Bagg
|  Monday, Jan 9, 2012  |  Updated 7:52 PM EDT
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Dog adoptions in Miami-Dade have been shut down for the next two weeks as animal shelter workers continue to find new dogs with symptoms of distemper.

Dog adoptions in Miami-Dade have been shut down for the next two weeks as animal shelter workers continue to find new dogs with symptoms of distemper.

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Infectious Disease Outbreak at Miami-Dade Animal Shelter

Infectious disease outbreak at Miami-Dade Animal Shelter.
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Dog adoptions in Miami-Dade have been shut down for the next two weeks as animal shelter workers continue to find new dogs with symptoms of distemper.

On Jan. 1, Miami-Dade Animal Services euthanized 23 dogs because of upper respiratory infections. Lab results later confirmed 18 had suffered from distemper.

Miami-Dade Animal Services' Kathleen Labrada said that another 16 dogs began showing symptoms over the weekend, and she started counting even more on Monday.

"It's disheartening," Labrada said Monday, as she checked out a labrador mix that appeared suspiciously sick.

Miami-Dade's animal shelter is offering free distemper testing for dogs people adopted there between Dec. 24, 2011 and Jan. 6, 2012.

Dogs must be showing symptoms in order to qualify for free testing. Symptoms include: runny nose, watery eyes, coughing, fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea.

Cats are not affected and can still be adopted.

Free testing goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 7401 Northwest 74th Street through Saturday Jan. 14th.
 
According to Labrada, pet owners need to get their pets vaccinated for distemper to keep them safe, as there is no cure for the disease.

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