BALDWIN, Md. — It started with a single puppy from the ‘Don’t Be a Bully’ dog rescue in White Hall testing positive for distemper---a highly-contagious and deadly virus.
“It’s respiratory. It’s GI. It’s neurological. I think seeing any animal being ill and then watching it succumb to its illness is upsetting to watch,” said Dr. Lucia Donatelli of the Baltimore County Health Department.
And the virus has now ravaged nearly a dozen of the four dozen dogs seized in northern Baltimore County from a rescue that had them living with no air conditioning, nor water as the infection spread.
The Baltimore County Animal Shelter is holding the remaining dogs in quarantine, as well as others already housed at the facility prior to their arrival, but around-the-clock care hasn’t stopped the virus, and it’s taking its toll on workers here as well.
“Compassion fatigue is a real thing, and to take in a group of sick animals and to take care of them, and despite your best efforts, to watch them succumb to their disease, it’s just heartbreaking,” said Donatelli.
The shelter is hoping volunteers, foster families and other rescue organizations will step forward to help out as they continue to try to save the lives of the remaining dogs and puppies.