Local police department warns pet owners of distemper outbreak - KMOV.com

Local police department warns pet owners of distemper outbreak

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Stray Rescue of St. Louis is temporarily closed after several dogs died from Distemper. Several other dogs tested positive for the disease. Credit: KMOV Stray Rescue of St. Louis is temporarily closed after several dogs died from Distemper. Several other dogs tested positive for the disease. Credit: KMOV

BALLWIN, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A local police department is warning residents of canine distemper after an outbreak temporarily closed a local shelter.

The Ballwin Police Department said raccoons that carry the disease have been seen in Creve Couer, Chesterfield, Webster Groves and Fenton.

The illness has killed 20 dogs, mostly puppies, at the Stray Rescue of St. Louis. The rescue said 10 other dogs are still alive and have tested positive for distemper.

“The tough thing about distemper is it mirrors shelter-type diseases. That would like Kennel cough. So you don’t know what you’re dealing with until notice some further affects, such as extreme discharge, bloody diarrhea and anorexia,” said Randy Grim, the founder of Stray Rescue.

The shelter will be closed for at least a month. The animal rescue organization is trying to raise $100,000 to cover costs associated with the outbreak, including hazmat suits, cleaning supplies, and tests. They are asking supporters to donate through their website.

The Bi-State Wildlife Hotline said they pick up sick raccoons 24 hours a day throughout the St. Louis area. You can also contact the Missouri Wildlife Rescue Center.

Stray Rescue is encouraging dog owners to vaccinate their dogs against the disease.

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