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April 16, 2012

The HSUS and North Carolina Animal Federation to Host Training Workshop for Area Shelter Staff

The Humane Society of the United States and the North Carolina Animal Federation are cohosting an educational workshop at the Cleveland County Animal Shelter on April 17 to address North Carolina’s recent widespread distemper virus outbreak. Shelter staff from local animal welfare organizations are invited to attend this special hands-on training. The workshop will feature an experienced shelter veterinarian.  It is intended to help rural shelters manage disease within their facilities and properly utilize the resources available to them. 

“The Humane Society of the United States is pleased to be able to provide free training to help these shelters get through the distemper outbreak and properly manage disease control in the future,” said Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. “Many of our shelters struggle due to budget cuts, pet overpopulation, limited resources and aging facilities. This training will help address some of their most pressing issues.”

Several of North Carolina Counties have recently had distemper virus outbreaks. Distemper is highly contagious and potentially fatal. Worldwide, it is the leading cause of infectious disease deaths in dogs. It is critical that all dogs receive distemper vaccinations to protect them from the virus.  This outbreak is an indication that shelter staff and pet owners need to do more to ensure that all companion animals are vaccinated for preventable diseases such as this one.

“The timing of this training is critical as several counties in North Carolina have recently experienced outbreaks of distemper in their shelters,” said Shelly Moore, NCAF officer and president and CEO of the Humane Society of Charlotte. “Animals are coming in unvaccinated from the community and the shelters are left with managing the disease the best that they can.  NCAF wants to reach out and provide some useful tools to these groups to assist them in better dealing with this crisis.”

Media Contact: Katie Jarl: 301-258-1483, kjarl@humanesociety.org

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