Western Pa. Humane Society temporarily stops dog adoptions

Updated:

PITTSBURGH - The Western Pa. Humane Society has temporarily stopped dog adoptions and dog intake because a dog that recently received care at the shelter tested positive for a virus called canine distemper.

Dogs that have received their canine distemper vaccination have a very low risk of contracting this disease but non-immunized puppies and adolescent dogs are highly vulnerable.

Canine distemper affects a dog's respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing and thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose, as well as fever, lethargy, sudden vomiting and diarrhea, depression and/or loss of appetite.

"As Pittsburgh's first animal welfare organization, we take our responsibility to protect animals very seriously.  Temporarily suspending dog adoptions and intake lets us focus resources on determining if any dogs at our shelter are at risk, and if so, take steps to quarantine them," said Executive Director David Janusek.

As soon as the Western Pa. Humane Society determines that its shelter dogs have been cleared, it will resume dog adoptions and intake. Cat and small animal adoptions and intake, as well as the appointment-only wellness clinic, are functioning as normal.