Lubbock Animal Shelter to reopen for adoptions on Tuesday

Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 6:38 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After weeks of battling an infectious disease, the Lubbock Animal Shelter now has a plan to reopen to the public.

Nearly fifty dogs have died at LAS due to distemper. Director Steven Greene stated the outbreak is now under control and the shelter will open for adoptions on Tuesday. However, the shelter veterinarian Eila Machado said intakes will remain limited for the time being.

“It is imperative that we continue a halted intake process for dogs from the community in order to give us some more buffer room,” said Machado.

Starting Tuesday, the Lubbock Animal Shelter plans to only accept animals from emergency-type situations, such as aggressive dogs, injured or ill dogs, or rescues from cruelty cases.

Machado stated this is the best way to ensure all animals are fully vaccinated, which is the only way to prevent a future outbreak.

“That’s what saved hundreds of dogs in this instance, because they already had that vaccine resistance on board some animals were not protected, and that is where this outbreak started,” Machado said.

Even after losing nearly fifty dogs during the outbreak, LAS still has roughly four hundred healthy, symptom-free dogs that need homes. Machado state those who do plan on taking a dog home from the shelter need to make sure their pets at home are protected first.

“The distemper vaccine is one of the best in veterinarian medicine,” Machado said. “It is highly efficacious and stops disease in its tracks; most dogs who are already vaccinated appropriately against distemper will never be effected, even if a dog with distemper is brought home.”

The shelter will go back to normal business hours Tuesday for adoptions and fosters. All visitors will be asked to wear protective booties on their shoes while interacting with animals. Steven Greene, the director of LAS, stated there in no set time line on when intakes will go back to normal.