City of Lubbock Animal Services Identifies Cause of Illness Among Shelter Animals

City of Lubbock Animal Services (LAS) has received preliminary pathology reports back regarding the recent illness that has spread through the LAS shelter. Specialists at West Texas A&M University in Canyon have confirmed distemper as the cause of the illness. Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that affects dogs and other animals by attacking the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. Tests are pending to determine if there is an underlying reason for the increase in distemper.

Lubbock Animal Services has implemented safety protocols to control the spread of the disease throughout the shelter and these control methods are proving to be successful. LAS staff is utilizing full personal protective equipment and is under strict sanitation protocols to prevent contamination spread. Staff are assigned to rooms, with a “sick team” and a “healthy team” to help prevent spread to any other animals in custody.

There have been 20 confirmed cases of severe illness at LAS since July 27, 2023. Of those 20, 4 animals are showing signs of recovery, 3 animals succumbed to the disease, and 13 were euthanized after displaying extreme symptoms of this illness.

LAS will remain temporarily closed, and there will be no intakes or adoptions until further notice. Additionally, only City of Lubbock Animal Services staff will be permitted in the facility. No volunteers or members of the public will be permitted.

Citizens in need of curbside service can call LAS at 806-775-2057.

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