Distemper outbreak forces Bakersfield Animal Care Center to euthanize 100 dogs

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – The Bakersfield Animal Care Center announced Tuesday that it will temporarily stop fostering dogs due to an outbreak of distemper effective immediately to reduce its current shelter population and bring the outbreak under control. ‘epidemic.

CBACC officials said that in the past two months since the outbreak began, they have had to euthanize 100 dogs so far.

“What we’re seeing is dogs getting extremely sick to the point of no return, and then we have to euthanize them,” said CBACC’s Nicole Gitzke. “It’s something we never want to do and it’s something we really try to limit and that’s why we’re doing this.”

The CBACC is currently exceeding its capacity of 221 dogs, according to a press release. Gitzke said not all dogs are sick, but many have to share kennels with smaller dogs as cramped as six per kennel.

“With the cessation of intake, this gives us the possibility of taking the dogs out of the shelter, of adopting them, of taking them out to foster families, in rescues. That way we can make room in our facility to better space the dogs out,” Gitzke said.

CBACC said the shutdown was under the direction of Dr. Sandra Newbury, director of the University of Wisconsin’s shelter medicine program, with whom he is currently working on a distemper response plan.

Distemper is a highly contagious and incurable disease in domestic dogs and other animals. Symptoms include fever, cough, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy, and can sometimes be fatal.

The CBACC advises not to take in stray dogs and to keep your dog up to date on his vaccinations. If your dog appears to be sick or exhibits symptoms, you are urged to call your veterinarian immediately.

Benjamin M. Yerger