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Quarantine Lifted at Vidalia Animal Shelter
Thursday, 23 July 2009

July 23--  The state of Georgia has lifted its quarantine of the Vidalia Animal Shelter.

A week after finding many dogs infected with mange at the shelter, State Inspector Tommy Sheffield reinspected the facility Tuesday and gave the all clear for the shelter to allow dogs and cats to be adopted.

Vidalia Police Chief Frank Waits says 22 dogs with mange could not be saved and were euthanized Wednesday.  

"Well we had some of the dogs that were very sick with the mange. Even the treatment wasn't going to be able to help them. They were very contagious, so we did have to euthanize some of them to lower the population," explains Waits.

Waits says the Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society (SOAPS) is helping the Animal Control Shelter by providing funds to buy the vaccine needed to treat the mange.

"SOAPS is going to help finance treating the ones that are treatable with the vaccine for the mange. It's not the red mange, it is a curable mange if we can catch it soon enough. Our problem was we were so heavily populated that we were putting the dogs from pin to pin and it was contaminating all of them. As we'd get maybe a vicious dog in, we might put two non-vicious dogs together, and put the vicious dogs by itself to not contaminate the other animals. But then we found out it was contaminating the other animals. So we had to quarantine, or the state quarantined us, and shut us down until we could get a hold on the mange or lower the population,and we literally wound up having to do both," says Waits.

The shelter is currently housing approximately 100 animals. And Chief Waits says unless some of these animals find homes, we can expect another mange outbreak.

"I think we have 80 dogs and about 30 cats. And the problem was that if we can't get them adopted, it's going to continue to be a revolving door and the same thing is going to continue to happen. They're going to get sick, the population is going to get heavy," explains Waits.

Chief Waits wants to remind everyone that the Vidalia Animal Control Shelter is back open for business.

"The Vidalia Animal Shelter is open and doing business. We have about 80 dogs and 30 cats out there that are very sweet and need to be adopted. So please come out and adopted yourself a cat or a dog," says Waits.


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