MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com)--Nearly 20 dogs have been put down at the Memphis Animal Shelter after an outbreak of pneumovirus.
On the advice of the shelter veterinarian, the animals already infected have been euthanized. The city says it had to be done to stop the spread of the highly contagious disease.
"We consider this an unfortunate, but necessary, action to control the spread of disease in the shelter," said Public Services and Neighborhoods Director Janet Hooks.
The city says MAS is reaching out to its pet placement partners to assist in finding shelter for the dogs currently in its care. Potential adopters will be referred to the veterinarian in order to receive information on the care of a dog that might have been exposed to the infection prior to making the decision to adopt.
Due to the recent disease outbreak among the shelter's dog population, Memphis Animal Services’ Thursday Yappy Hour on October 20th will be limited to cats. The event is held each Thursday from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and offers $10 pet adoptions.
In March, more than 60 dogs had to be put down after a distemper outbreak at the shelter. City officials say there should be fewer outbreak problems when they move to the new animal shelter in mid-November. They say the new facility has better ventilation and an isolation area for sick animals.
The Memphis Animal Shelter is still without a director after Matthew Pepper left in early September.