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Published on May 08, 2024
Memphis Animal Services Reopens Following Canine Virus Outbreak, Waives Adoption Fees to Encourage Pet AdoptionSource: Google Street View

Memphis Animal Services (MAS) swung its doors open again on Tuesday following a shutdown sparked by an outbreak of canine distemper virus (CDV) and canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC) among its four-legged denizens. In a bid to stem the tide of infections, the shelter had slammed the brakes on operations back on May 3, local news outlet Local Memphis reported.

By Monday, there were 14 cases of CDV confirmed at the facility. To keep the virus on a tight leash, MAS whipped up a response that included segregating the exposed from the unexposed pooches, beefing up cleaning protocols, and launching a comprehensive contact tracing initiative. "Shelters around the country are seeing an uptick in viruses like CDV and CIRDC. When you have so many animals in one place coming from different circumstances with varying health challenges it can happen," Ty Coleman, the animal shelter's skipper, per Action News 5.

In response to the outbreak, MAS is dangling a temporary perk for potential pet parents: waiving all adoption fees up till May 21. This move, according to WREG, is part of a holistic strategy to reduce the kennel population and hence the risk of disease transmission. Meanwhile, the facility continues to operate on an emergency intake basis, focusing on animals that pose a public safety risk or require urgent medical attention.

MAS is also promoting fostering, calling on the locals to open their homes to dogs for at least four weeks, a measure designed to offer temporary relief from shelter overcrowding. Support comes in the form of food and other essentials supplied for the duration of the foster period. "Our dedicated team remains steadfast in prioritizing the safety, health, and overall welfare of every animal entrusted to us," Coleman asserted, per WREG. Interested parties can scoop up a new furry friend Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., or over the weekend from noon to 4 p.m. As an additional precaution, dogs adopted during this period should ideally go to homes with no other dogs or ones housing fully vaccinated adult dogs—steering clear of boarding or shelter environments.

For those gazing at the prospect of surrendering a dog or coming across a stray, MAS recommends holding onto the pet temporarily and getting in touch with their Pet Resource Center for aid with sustenance, supplies, and vet care. To make heads or tails of the adoption process or to hammer out an appointment for pet surrender, individuals can reach out via email at [email protected] or dial 901-636-1416 for more intel.