RCACP holds soft opening after battling illness; healthy animals ready to be adopted

Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 5:26 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection in Roanoke held a soft opening Monday after an illness shut its doors.

It’s been a difficult year for RCACP as the center has taken in a record-high number of dogs and battled an illness for weeks.

“It’s a dog cold that is very hard to get rid of,” explained Director of Operations Melinda Rector.

More than 50 dogs were battling a sickness called Mycoplasma - a respiratory infection in dogs that is similar to the common cold in humans. The disease started in October and forced the shelter to close. Now, they need the public’s help to make room for new intakes.

“We need to get our healthy adoptable animals out of the shelter,” said Rector.

Only 10 dogs continue to be sick. More than 30 have recovered and are available for adoption.

“These are great dogs; they’ve been through a lot,” added Rector. “Some of them have been here for months and months. And they’re good dogs, and they don’t deserve to have to live their life here in the shelter.”

Rector says two outside dogs spread the sickness to the rest of the kennel. At first, they appeared healthy before developing the virus. Now, they’re taking precautions to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“We’re trying to use our intake rooms as kind of a quarantine a little bit to see if they break with the illness,” said Rector.

RCACP is only accepting animals from officers. They continue to ask the community to keep stray dogs until they’re reunited with their owners.

“I think I’ve seen more animals reunited on the Lost and Found pages than I ever have, in the six years that I’ve been here. And we are very, very thankful for that,” said Rector.

To avoid losing your companion animals make sure they are microchipped and have a tag with your information.

“Things happen, animals get out, and it’s nobody’s fault,” added Rector. “But do put yourself in the position where you can get your animal back as quickly as possible.”

People can adopt a dog by visiting the shelter. For more information, click here.