Top News

All but two dogs at Gander SPCA to be euthanized

A husky mix pup awaits adoption to its new home.  This breed is particularly popular,  often adopted as soon as they arrive.
A husky mix pup awaits adoption at the Gander SPCA in this Telegram file photo from 2017. -Clarence Ngoh/Telegram file photo

Dogs show signs of distemper virus

The Gander and Area SPCA has “come to the heartbreaking conclusion” to euthanize all but two of the dogs and puppies at its shelter due to a distemper outbreak.

The announcement was made on the shelter’s Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.

“After consulting with the provincial vet and our own local veterinary team, with careful consideration of the huge ramifications of distemper spreading not only among unvaccinated dogs but also to wildlife such as foxes, coyotes, bears, weasels, mink, we have come to the heartbreaking conclusion that euthanizing the puppies and dogs at our shelter who have shown signs of distemper, is the only responsible way to contain this virus,” the announcement to their Facebook page states.

Distemper is a contagious, viral illness with no known cure.

In affected dogs, it causes digestive, nervous, and respiratory system problems and only half of affected dogs will survive – those who survive are usually left with permanent damage to their nervous system.

Two adult dogs in the Gander SPCA’s care will not be euthanized as they are not showing signs of distemper – they will remain quarantined “for the foreseeable future.”

Gander SPCA’s dog area was under quarantine since a puppy brought into their care became ill and was euthanized.

That puppy’s autopsy came back positive for Canine Distemper Virus.

“We have clung to hope these past couple of weeks, trying our absolute best to keep the virus from spreading from the puppies to our adult dogs, but they too started showing symptoms of distemper.”

The Facebook post went on to say that vaccinating pets is important to prevent the spread of viruses, and anyone with questions about the safety of their pet should contact their local veterinary clinic.

The post also addressed a need for a new shelter with isolation rooms.

Gander and Area SPCA declined a request for an interview on Wednesday, saying they are not ready to talk about it yet because "these dogs are our family and we're grieving right now."

The Department of Fisheries and Land Resources Animal Health Division provided a statement to The Telegram via e-mail, stating the department is aware of and consulted with the Gander SPCA to manage the situation.

The statement stressed that distemper is not harmful to humans but is “very harmful” to dogs and “highly contagious.”

“The best course of action is to vaccinate to prevent its occurrence,” the statement said. “Routine vaccination for dogs provided on a fee for service basis by private veterinarians throughout the province cover distemper virus. Dog owners are encouraged to consult with their local veterinary clinic to ensure their dogs are fully up to date on their Distemper vaccinations.”

The Telegram is following this story and will provide further details as they become available.

Earlier story:

The Gander and Area SPCA has “come to the heartbreaking conclusion” to euthanize all but two of the dogs and puppies at its shelter due to a distemper outbreak.

The announcement was made on the shelter’s Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.

“After consulting with the provincial vet and our own local veterinary team, with careful consideration of the huge ramifications of distemper spreading not only among unvaccinated dogs but also to wildlife such as foxes, coyotes, bears, weasels, mink, we have come to the heartbreaking conclusion that euthanizing the puppies and dogs at our shelter who have shown signs of distemper, is the only responsible way to contain this virus,” the announcement to their Facebook page states.

Distemper is a contagious, viral illness with no known cure.

In affected dogs, it causes digestive, nervous, and respiratory system problems and only half of affected dogs will survive – those who survive are usually left with permanent damage to their nervous system.

Two adult dogs in the Gander SPCA’s care will not be euthanized as they are not showing signs of distemper – they will remain quarantined “for the foreseeable future.”

Gander SPCA’s dog area was under quarantine since a puppy brought into their care became ill and was euthanized.

That puppy’s autopsy came back positive for Canine Distemper Virus.

“We have clung to hope these past couple of weeks, trying our absolute best to keep the virus from spreading from the puppies to our adult dogs, but they too started showing symptoms of distemper.”

The Facebook post went on to say that vaccinating pets is important to prevent the spread of viruses, and anyone with questions about the safety of their pet should contact their local veterinary clinic.

The post also addressed a need for a new shelter with isolation rooms.

The Telegram is following this story and will provide further details as they become available.

Recent Stories