Franklin County Dog Shelter reopens after distemper outbreak, begins adoptions again

COLUMBUS (WCMH)–The Franklin County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center opened back up Thursday after having been closed for nearly two weeks because of a distemper outbreak.

84 total dogs were euthanized as a result of the highly contagious respiratory virus, the shelter said.

Shelter officials say the distemper quarantine is finished and there are 66 dogs up for adoption. 53 of those are at the shelter and the other 13 are in foster homes.

This all comes after 137 negative test results came back from the University of Wisconsin.

Director Don Winstel says changes are in the future for the shelter.

He says a review of infectious disease protocols followed by the shelter will most likely begin next week.

“I guess what I’m thinking of is more just reaching out and finding out how to how to manage the shelter better,” he said, “Not that it was being managed poorly, but we’ve already been hearing from colleagues and several places across the country….and they’ve been offering their assistance and support. I think whenever you have that opportunity for those ideas to mix in with the ideas that you already have, I think you come out the beneficiary of that. I think the public and the animals will come out the beneficiary of that as well.”

In the meantime, he says the shelter’s dogs are safe to adopt.

“I think that the dogs right now have been more closely scrutinized for medical conditions than you would find at any shelter in the country,” Winstel said.

The shelter is waving the adoption fees, and animals will be able to go home for the $18 cost of the dog license through Sunday.

The shelter will host a vaccine clinic Saturday from noon until 3:30 p.m. The vaccines which will cost $5 and will protect against Parvo and distemper. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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