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For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 2, 2024

The Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center’s (MCASAC) in Derwood was closed today due to a case of Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). Canine influenza is a respiratory disease of dogs caused by a specific strain of type A influenza virus. The adoption center will be closed until further notice. 

Dogs in the center have been placed under isolation and will not be moving out of the building. Adoptions of other animals are also paused at this time.

Despite vaccinating for CIV and adhering to strict cleaning protocols, a dog in the care of MCASAC tested positive for CIV and 22 additional dogs are showing CIV symptoms.  

The canine influenza virus mainly spreads from infected dogs to other dogs (or cats) through respiratory droplets (coughing, sneezing, barking or nuzzling) and through contaminated surfaces and clothing. It is not transmissible to people. However, people can spread the virus to other dogs via their clothing, equipment or hands.  

The symptoms of canine influenza are cough, runny nose, eye discharge, fever, lethargy and poor appetite. The signs range in severity between no signs at all and severe illness resulting in death. 

Animal Services

“Canine influenza is a highly contagious virus that spreads rapidly through a shelter's dog population,” said MCASAC Chief Veterinarian Gregory Lawrence. “We will continue to do everything we can to prevent further spread of the virus and treat those dogs that are infected.”. 

If your dog is showing any symptoms of CIV, contact your veterinarian immediately for assessment and early supportive treatment. Keep your dog separated from others for at least 28 days. Avoid trips to dog parks, doggy daycare, grooming and boarding facilities.  

Most dogs recover within two-to-three weeks, but some will develop secondary bacterial infections that can lead to more severe illness.  

MCASAC is now accepting essential intakes only. Essential intakes include: 

  • Sick and injured animals. 
  • Dogs that pose a threat to public safety. 

Residents who find a lost pet are asked not to bring the animal to the shelter for the safety of those animals. Tips on locating the owner of lost pets can be found on the center’s Found a Pet ( page. MCASAC will provide finders of lost pets who are willing to foster, with the necessary supplies to care for the animal until the owner can be located or other placement options are determined. 

The canine influenza vaccine is not required and is not considered a core vaccine for all dogs. However, with cases occurring in the DMV area, speak with your veterinarian about having your dog vaccinated. If you visit dog parks, doggy daycare or board your dog when traveling, your dog is more at risk for canine influenza. The vaccine may not stop your dog from contracting the virus completely, although it will lessen the severity and help reduce the spread. 

Additional precautions to take to keep your dog safe: 

  • Limit direct contact with other dogs when on walks. Do not allow them to sniff one another. 
  • Avoid using shared toys or dishes. 
  • Consider skipping daycare, boarding, grooming facilities and dog parks. 
  • Contact your dog’s daycare or boarding facility and ask about recent cases and cleaning protocols. 
Release ID: 24-214
Media Contact: Maria Anselmo 240-383-5995
Categories: Animal Services