Animal Resources & Care to restart dog services

Alachua County’s Animal Resources & Care (ARC) will reopen Feb. 1 after a series of distemper infections closed the facility down in late December, according to a county news release.

ARC Director Ed Williams said the department confirmed a total of five cases of canine distemper virus. Once detected, ARC shut down intakes and separated all dogs who had been in close contact with those infected.

ARC also notified anyone who adopted, reclaimed or transferred a dog in December to watch for signs and even conduct drive-thru testing.

While limiting intakes in January, the few new residents were kept completely separate and different staff took care of the dogs in each area to avoid spreading the virus.

“Through careful management of this exposure to the canine distemper virus the Animal Resources & Care team has truly maximized lifesaving and minimized further spread of the virus,” the county press release said. “We wish to thank our dedicated staff and volunteers without whom this would not have been possible.”

The virus often spreads through local wildlife, like racoons and foxes, before infecting dogs. ARC vaccinates for the virus upon admission, but sufficient immunity can take weeks to develop.

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