LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Lexington Humane Society and Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control are having to close temporarily due to a health issue at the facility.
The agencies say that staff veterinarians have a confirmed case of a bacterial infection in one of the animals at the joint campus located on Old Frankfort Pike in Lexington.
“This weekend we identified Streptococcus zooepidemicus (strep zoo) in a dog at the facility. The illness affects the respiratory system, and is most common in horses and cows, but also affects dogs and cats,” says Dr. Liz Ubelhor, agency veterinarian.
As a precaution, officials are closing the facility immediately in order to clean and quarantine. The closure will last for 14-days. They will not be receiving animals at the facility as a result.They also will not be adopting out animals currently in the facility until the quarantine period is complete.
“A temporary animal shelter will be in place and operational within 48 hours at Masterson Station Park. This shelter will house stray animals that are picked up by patrolling officers, or turned in by members of the public. No owned animal will be accepted for surrender at the temporary shelter location at this time,” says LFACC Chief Nathan Bowling.
“This is not a reflection on our ability to care and love the animals," said Lexington Humane Society President Susan Malcomb. "This is Mother Nature letting us know that she’s still the boss and every time we figure something out she’s going to throw another angle at us and test us to see just how much we can handle.”
Dr. Ubelhor says most healthy dogs who have been vaccinated can fight off the bacteria and not get sick. But leaders will be contacting anyone who adopted an animal in the last week and offering them antibiotics for their pets as a precaution.
Animal Care and Control is setting up a temporary shelter at Masterson Station Park to hold any strays that are picked up while the buildings are closed.
The Humane Society plans to open back up cat adoptions at Petsmart on Thursday. They hope to open back up their main adoption center and be fully operational by December 18.
Humane Society leaders say their first priority is the animals, but it is also tough for them, because this is normally their busiest time of year for adoptions.