GREENWOOD COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Leaders at the Humane Society of Greenwood County are trying to adopt healthy dogs into families this holiday season.
Executive Director Connier Mawyer said there are 31 dogs available for adoption at the shelter, but said many other dogs are still under quarantine after an outbreak of canine distemper virus.
“It is one of the worst crisis a shelter could experience,” said Mawyer.
For the past seven weeks, the shelter closed its doors to try to stop the virus from spreading.
“It’s a neurological disease. They shed it or pass it through their body chemicals like their saliva, snotty nose, urine, feces,” said Mawyer.
Under quarantine, many dogs couldn’t be adopted and no stray dogs could be brought in either.
“Neither Greenwood nor myself have been through this experience,” said Mawyer.
Now, Mawyer is hopeful the outbreak is over soon, but, in the meantime, is trying to get healthy dogs adopted.
“I just want a puppy, I want a small dog, nothing too big,” said Orlandria Simpson, who came to the Humane Society on Thursday.
During the holidays, some are looking for a new pet too.
“I do have a lot of free time, so hopefully I can give the dog a home,” said Simpson.
Mawyer said adoptions of the healthy dogs will help open up space at the shelter for when it can fully reopen and take in stray dogs too.
“It’s been a struggle for us to know that there’s dogs we need to help, that we cannot,” said Mawyer.
Mawyer said dogs at the shelter will be tested in about two weeks and said depending on the outcome, the shelter could reopen sometime after then. She said people can see dogs available for adoption on the Humane Society Facebook page and contact the shelter.
She also encourages people to check that their pet is up to date with shots and vaccinations. She also said people should spay and neuter their dogs to prevent adding to the stray dog population.