HOUSTON – The City of Houston’s BARC announced they have closed their services to the public until further notice due to a high number of illness cases among animals in their facility.
The animal shelter said in a release that they have confirmed six positive distemper cases, which is a disease commonly present in stray dogs.
“BARC is taking immediate, preemptive measures to isolate the issue,” said BARC Shelter Director Greg Damianoff in a statement. “This will allow BARC to focus our resources on treating sick animals and prevent further spread within the shelter population.”
BARC has isolated the dogs that may have been exposed to the illness and is currently monitoring healthy but exposed animals for possible symptoms, the release said. An infectious disease protocol has been established within the facility.
BARC will remain open for the following services:
- Animal control and bite case investigations
- Intake of sick, injured, or fading animals
- Drive-through clinic assistance for foster animals
- Heartworm treatment appointments for all pets scheduled prior to July 4th closure
- Cat intake and adoptions. Potential adopters will only be allowed in the Don Sanders Cattery located at the BARC Adoption Center
- Adoption of dogs categorized as low risk
- Return to owner services, following proper sanitation protocols in place
Customers with appointments will receive a notification from BARC to reschedule.
“This isn’t just a local issue; many states and animal shelters are currently encountering distemper outbreaks,” said Damianoff. “We urge Houstonians to please have their pets vaccinated to prevent the possible spread of illness among other pets in the community.”