MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) The Mobile County Animal Shelter is accepting animals again after 49 had to be euthanized. A spokesperson said a dog was brought into the shelter showing signs of distemper.
The animals had to be put down in order to isolate the health threat.
"It's sad. You don't want to see a dog suffer," said Matthew Goolsby, an animal shelter volunteer.
County officials stated the shelter had no other option than to put down the dogs after spotting one dog with symptoms of Distemper.
"The dog had eyes blood shot, and the dog was having seizures in his kennel," said Mobile County Animal Shelter Supervisor Andrew Stubbs.
He said the infected dog was vaccinated, but had the disease before getting treated. Stubbs said the viral disease is tricky. According to experts, it can take 12 to 14 days before an animal can display signs of Distemper.
"They are out here on a daily basis playing. So if one dog has it, It's a possibility with them interacting with each other, they all had it," said Stubbs.
With recommendations from two veterinarians, officials had to move quickly. Each kennel had to be cleaned from top to bottom with bleach and hot water including food and water bowls. Everything was sanitized and left alone for 24 hours.
Stubbs said the shelter had to make tough decisions to provide healthy adoptable dogs and to keep the shelter running.
"We are a government shelter. So we cannot basically shut down our operation of taking animals," Stubbs stated.
Volunteers said the process has been emotionally draining.
"Man we cried. I had to walk away. We cry. These are our families members," said Goolsby.
Nineteen new dogs have moved in. They will be ready for adoption Friday.