The St. Landry Parish Animal Shelter is being quarantined after a distemper outbreak forced them to euthanize multiple dogs.
Parish President Bill Fontenot told me about two to weeks ago, a rescue mission detected that one of the dogs from the shelter contracted distemper and because the disease is contagious among dogs, the shelter immediately took action.
“We shut down on any rescue missions” said Fontenot.
As many as 150 dogs at the St. Landry Parish Shelter could have distemper which is a flu like disease that can be fatal.
Fontenot says their main priority is confining the disease to the shelter.
“We’re using high powered cleaning systems with heavy duty detergents and the types that’s recommended for cleaning up a distemper infected area.” he added.
They’re also limiting the intake of new animals
“If we have reports of dogs, we won’t necessarily go pick them up like we would normally do unless they are causing a real nuisance like biting.” said Fontenot.
Humans can’t get distemper, but it is possible for a person to transfer it from dog to dog if they make contact with an infected animal.
The parish president affirms that it doesn’t pose any threat to the community at large but they will have experts come to the shelter next week.
“We will overcome this but we are going to take the necessary time to make sure that we have overcome it so we don’t transfer any dogs out of here to spread it anywhere else.” said Fontenot
Fontenot explained that this outbreak may lead to future ordinances that will make pet owners in St. Landry Parish prove that their pet has been vaccinated.