UF shelter medicine program and rural S.C. shelter team up to save dogs from distemper

The Lancaster County Animal Shelter in rural South Carolina shelter experienced an outbreak of canine distemper. In the past, all of the dogs would have been euthanized to control the spread of disease.

This time, the director reached out for help instead. She connected with our own Dr. Cynda Crawford on the drive back from the Broward County Day of Learning.

Since then, the UF team has been working with the two-person shelter on isolation and treatment procedures. Now all the dogs have recovered and are on their way to new homes. It even earned the some positive media attention:

After an exhausting, month-long distemper crisis, the Lancaster County Animal Shelter is back in operation, and none of the 25 quarantined dogs will have to be euthanized, county officials said Friday.


“This is the whole reason we are here,” said a relieved shelter Director Alan Williams, who cannot recall his last day off. “We beat the odds.”


Williams praised Dr. Cynda Crawford, a specialist from the University of Florida who consulted with the county on its response and performed $17,000 in distemper tests for free.


Crawford praised Williams back.


“I have not had the pleasure to work with as good a sheltering community as you all have there with Alan,” she said Friday. “It has been a real pleasure to work with Lancaster County. They have done an amazing job saving lives.”

Read the rest here.