Maricopa County Animal Care and Control in east valley reopens after distemper outbreak

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control was forced in late October to close one of its shelters because many dogs tested positive for distemper while in its care, but it's now reopened.

Through Dec. 11, Bissell Pet Foundation is sponsoring all adoption fees at all Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelters.

The East Valley Animal Care Center, which is located near Loop 101 and Rio Salado Parkway in Mesa, was shut down until they got a handle on the outbreak.

Shelter officials said multiple dogs tested positive for the highly contagious virus, and others were starting to show symptoms.

"We fear we are on the cusp of a distemper outbreak," officials previously said in a statement.

All the dogs in the shelter reportedly stayed in their kennels without leaving while all 300 of the canines were tested for the disease.

Distemper, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, is a contagious incurable disease that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of dogs.

It can be spread through airborne exposure to another infect animal through sneezing or coughing, and can also be spread with shared food and water bowls.

Vaccinations are the primary way to prevent the spread of the disease.

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