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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/DAVID GOTTSCHALK The Springdale Animal Services building at 321 E. Randall Wobbe Lane in Springdale. "The existing shelter is too small for the community," reads the summary of a needs assessment from Shelter Planners of America in Arlington, Texas.

SPRINGDALE -- Springdale Animal Services closed its shelter for the week after finding two cases of canine distemper.

Courtney Kremer, director of animal services, closed the shelter, and all dogs are being monitored on site for symptoms.

Shelter staff members are cleaning everything at the shelter from floor to ceiling, according to a news release from the city.

Distemper is spread through contact.

The initial dog was picked up by animal services March 15, according to the news release. The animal, as protocol states, was given vaccinations upon arrival at the shelter.

Springdale Animal Services staff members are contacting residents who might have adopted a dog during the time the sick animals were in the shelter.

Dogs infected with the virus likely will develop fever and seem lethargic. In the next week, pet owners might notice secretions from the nose and eyes, and throwing up and diarrhea, according to Kate Williams of St. Francis Animal Hospital in Springdale, representing the American Veterinary Medical Association.

All dogs are at risk, but puppies younger than 4 months and dogs that have not been vaccinated are at increased risk.

Springdale voters approved a $5.2 million bond project in 2018 to build a new animal shelter that is in the design phase.

The facility will have an isolated containment area for preventive care when animals arrive at the shelter, according to the release.

Justine Lentz, superintendent of animal services for the city of Fayetteville, reported no shutdowns of the shelter in the past 10 years.

But the shelter has not been immune.

Lentz reported the shelter has received dogs with parvovirus and other illnesses that are easier to contain.

With stray dogs with unknown backgrounds coming in and out, disease can be hard to contain, she said.

"But anything's possible," Lentz continued. "If we had the same set of circumstances, it could happen to us."

Metro on 04/23/2019

Print Headline: 2 cases of canine distemper force Springdale shelter to close for week

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