Illness Forces Emporia To Set Up Temporary Housing For Stray Dogs

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EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW/KVOE) - Emporia has set up a temporary shelter to house newly impounded dogs in the wake of an illness outbreak at the city's animal shelter.

The Emporia Police Department said Monday that arrangements have been made to house the animals at the Lyon County Fairgrounds. They say the same location was used to shelter animals following the Reading tornado.

Emporia Police say the location will be used while officials investigate an outbreak of illness affecting dogs at the Emporia Animal Shelter. KVOE Radio has reported 15 dogs have been euthanized this month after showing symptoms. As many as 40 had to be put down this spring when the illness first showed itself.

Emporia veterinarian Dr. Floyd Dorsey told KVOE last week the illness appears to be some strain of distemper.

Dorsey told KVOE issues first arose in February and March when stray dogs from northwest Lyon County were brought to the shelter. Several dogs became sick with kennel cough symptoms before worsening, with one eventually displaying rabies-type symptoms before it had to be put down.

Dorsey says the shelter has to take in animals, but is trying to limit exposure to the illness. He told KOVE the shelter was thoroughly bleached a few weeks ago, but dogs began showing symptoms again early this month, leading him to believe the virus may be carried by other dogs in the facility.

Emporia Police say the temporary housing is off limits to the public and is not a drop off point for animals. They say citizens should follow normal procedures for reporting stray animals.

The temporary housing was made possible with the assistance of the Lyon County Fair Board, Lyon County Emergency Management, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and the Capital Area Animal Response Team.