GSHS closes, awaits possible distemper test results

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - People arriving to the Grand Strand Humane Society were greeted with a 'Closed' sign Friday after employees shut down the shelter due to a possible case of distemper, a Myrtle Beach spokesperson said.

Cara Gibbs, spokeswoman for the Grand Strand Humane Society, said a little of 4-week-old puppies began displaying runny eyes and nose symptoms on March 1. As a precaution, employees quarantined the puppies from all other animals.

Following a consultation with Dr. Michell Crull, a staff veterinarian, the decision was made to isolate and test the puppies for possible distemper.

As a result of the pending test results, officials have closed the Grand Strand Humane Society to the public on Saturday. A decision on Monday's operating hours is pending.

"The shelter staff acted quickly with extra caution, even though the puppies may just have an upper respiratory infection. The puppies having been taken from their mother so young was also taken into consideration," Gibbs wrote in an official shelter statement. "The shelter's main concern in the health and safety of all animals."

Executive Director Sandy Brown says shelter employees are continuing to await the test results, expected to arrive on Monday. Brown says no further definitive answers will be revealed until all tests are completed.

Staff is expected to be at the shelter to honor the 20 free feline spay/neuter vouchers on March 8 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

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