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Longview shelter euthanizes 154 dogs

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POSTED: Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 10:51pm

UPDATED: Monday, December 19, 2011 - 6:36pm

It's one of the hardest, but necessary aspects of running an animal shelter.

And starting Saturday, the staff at the Humane Society of Northeast Texas had to put down 154 dogs who showed signs of distemper which is an incurable, airborne disease that only affects dogs.

Distemper attacks the animal's respiratory and central nervous system, causing seizures.

And it can be a long painful death.

The humane society tells KETK the initial distemper case did not start in their facilities, but a dog who was brought in had already contracted distemper .

And some who have worked with the shelter understand the tough decision the humane society had to make.

Officials tell KETK that resorting to euthanizing dogs with distemper is standard operating procedure.

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It is irrelevant if a few of the dogs previously were vaccinated. The shelter does not have space to hold 150+ dogs for several weeks in isolation to see if they have symptoms of distemper before releasing them for adoption. A vaccination history does not guarantee a dog is immune, not all dogs develope a lifetime immunity from vaccines. The shelter donation page is active if you'd like to take action and contribute to their new building fund or vaccine fund :)

But according to the news reports, all the dogs euthanized were not ill with distemper. Many, if not most, probably had been previously vaccinated by former owners and would have been immune. So, all those dogs did not have to be killed. Interesting that only "some who have worked at the shelter" understood the decision. The implication is that the majority did not understand.

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