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Metro Newsroom

Animal Services Taking Action to Control Disease

Friday September 16, 2011

Metro Animal Services is taking steps to reduce the risk of distemper and other upper respiratory illnesses. “We have seen numerous cases of extreme disease in our shelter and the community,” said Metro Animal Services Director Justin Scally. “It is in the best interest of the animals of Louisville Metro to implement a number of emergency policies to help prevent the spread of disease.”

LMAS has worked directly with UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, an industry leader worldwide. Their shelter medicine experts continue to provide advice and guidance on what they have classified as a possible distemper outbreak.

Until further notice, only animals facing emergency situations will be accepted at Louisville Metro Animal Services. This includes owner surrender animals facing serious health problems, extreme injuries, bite incidents or aggression. The same criterion is in place for strays. Citizens with animals fitting the criteria will be visiting a new intake facility located on Newburg Road. The former public works facility is adjacent (to the right) of the Animal House Adoption Center. Hours of operation are Tuesday – Saturday from 10:30 a.m. -2 p.m. starting Tuesday September 20th. For emergency needs after hours, contact LMAS dispatch at 502-361-1318 (1).

Citizens and pet owners can find information on community resources on our website:

Animal House Adoption Center will operate under normal hours.

The highly contagious diseases such as distemper, kennel cough and other respiratory ailments have a variety of symptoms including sneezing, nasal and ocular discharge, loss of appetite, depression and neurological signs. Every pet owner is encouraged to take precaution as the diseases continue to be an issue throughout the community and southeast region of the United States. Getting animals vaccinated is the best way to prevent the spread of these potentially deadly diseases.

To help encourage the same responsibility from pet owners, LMAS is offering two free vaccination clinics:

Saturday, October 1st 9:00 a.m. – noon Newburg Community Center 4810 Exeter Ave.

Saturday, October 8th 9:00 a.m. - noon Portland Community Center 640 North 27th St.

Staff Veterinarians will offer DAPP (distemper/parvo) and rabies vaccinations and answer any questions the community may have during these clinics. The canine distemper vaccine is one of the most rapidly protective vaccines available in veterinary medicine: it can provide meaningful protection within hours of administration, said UC Davis Vet staff.

LMAS continues to take steps to educate the community and provide the best care for the animals of Louisville Metro. Veterinary staff have met with foster families and rescue groups to go over warning signs and symptoms of respiratory illnesses. “We will continue to reach out to the community seeking information on respiratory and other diseases,” said Staff Veterinarian Carolyn E. Congleton, DVM. “It’s important for us to know the health history of our animals and all animals in the community. That’s the only way we will be able to slow down the spread of disease.”