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Animal Control forced to euthanize 11 dogs
Warren County Animal Control was forced to euthanize 11 dogs this week following a virus outbreak.

Warren County Animal Control has been shut down for more than a week in an attempt to limit an outbreak of distemper.
Several puppies were brought into the facility a couple weeks ago and one was diagnosed with distemper. In an attempt to prevent the spread of the contagious virus, the facility was shut down as soon as the diagnoses was made. However, the effort failed and 11 dogs had to be euthanized.
According to Warren County Animal Control director Kim Pettrey, a litter of seven puppies and their mother were picked up on McReynolds Road approximately two weeks ago. Three puppies were “obviously” sick and taken to the veterinarian. While one had to be euthanized, one of the other two puppies was tested and distemper was diagnosed.
Distemper is a viral disease of some animals, especially dogs, causing fever, coughing, and catarrh. The disease is highly contagious and attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of puppies and dogs.
Cumberland County’s animal shelter has battled three outbreaks of distemper in the past few months and the facility has euthanized dozens of dogs in an attempt to stop the progression of the disease.
Last week, Pettrey said the situation in Crossville is what she’s trying to avoid with the closing of the facility.
“My goal is to contain this,” Pettrey said. “I do not want to euthanize dozens of dogs like they did in Crossville. So far, all our animals appear to be healthy. We are in the process of having all the animals tested for distemper to make sure. Until we get those results back, we feel it’s best to shut down the facility. The disease is very contagious so we have to make sure this doesn’t spread. Right now, we are sanitizing every day and keeping a close eye on the animals.”
When Pettrey was contacted Monday, she reported that tests revealed 11 dogs were diagnosed with distemper and had to be euthanized.
The good news is some of the dogs tested last week had high antibodies against distemper, meaning they were protected against contracting the virus. Those that do not have the high antibodies are scheduled to be retested.
There is no known cure for distemper and the virus is often fatal. However, the virus is preventable if puppies and dogs are vaccinated.
“I know a lot of people don’t believe in vaccines, but I do,” said Pettrey. “The reason some of these diseases, like distemper, keep popping back up is because people don’t get their animals vaccinated.”
Animal Control is encouraging all pet owners to make sure their dog’s distemper vaccination is up to date. After the initial distemper vaccination, veterinarians say dogs need another shot every three years.
Prior to testing, no new animals were being brought into the facility and none of the existing animals were being adopted out. Currently, the animals tested with high antibodies are up for adoption. “The ones tested with high antibodies are good to go,” said Pettrey. “There is no danger in them having distemper or contracting it from other dogs. We have a rescue group coming in to take some of them.”
Any animals from Warren County Animals Control featured in the Southern Standard as Pet of the Week are one of those which tested positive for high antibodies.
The facility will remain closed until after the second round of test results come in. However, any animals featured in the Standard can be adopted by calling 507-3647.