Eighty animals at the Kanawha-Charleston animal shelter are being put down following an outbreak of distemper.
The Kanawha-County Humane Association made the decision after confirming two cases of distemper and speaking with several veterinarians and the Kanawha County Commission.
Distemper is a virus that impacts domestic dogs. It's a respiratory disease that can advance to a neurological disease.
Assistant state veterinarian Dr. Koren Moore Custer told 58WCHS Wednesday afternoon cases of distemper have been increasing in West Virginia and across the nation in recent months. She says it can be controlled by vaccinations.
"The pet owner population has become lackadaisical," Custer said.
The Kanawha-Charleston Animal Shelter will close for three weeks in order to disinfect the facility. Three weeks is the incubation period for distemper. The humane association said on its Facebook page Wednesday that it's trying to find somewhere to house incoming strays during that period.
"This is a very hard time for the shelter staff, as they have to put these animals to sleep, support instead of criticism from the public is greatly appreciated," the Facebook posting said.