The Lewis and Clark Humane Society has ran tests on all dogs, disinfected the premises, and will reopen Wednesday. The executive director at the Lewis and Clark Humane Society describes the distemper disease as a very uncommon case. Staff spent the past few weeks carefully disinfecting possibly contaminated areas in efforts to prevent the disease from spreading to current and future dogs at the shelter. They also put into place new vaccination protocols for incoming dogs. Unfortunately, a total of seventeen dogs were contaminated with the disease, seven of whom have passed away.
The Lewis and Clark Humane Society assures the public that any dogs that are now available for adoption are healthy.
"We have isolated our stray ward for all of our dogs that are PCR positive and or showing signs. They are completely isolated. There is no chance that the ones in the back that are ready for adoption are going to be passed out into the community as being sick," said Lewis and Clark Executive Director Gina Wiest.
During the period that the shelter was closed, Helena law enforcement, Great Falls animal shelter and Dogwood Lodge kennel worked with the Lewis and Clark Humane Society to make sure that stray animals were housed.
With the diagnosed dogs being separated from the healthy ones, space is at the shelter. Therefor, the first week will only be open for new owner adoption pickup. Next week the shelter will begin to take in strays and owner drop offs.