The Humane Society of Greenwood reopens after a distemper outbreak

January 12, 2022

In November 2021, the Humane Society of Greenwood (HSOG) was challenged
with one of the most difficult situations an animal shelter can face – an
outbreak of Canine Distemper Virus. At least 152 dogs were exposed to the

Historically, in order for a shelter to control the spread of this disease,
all dogs would have been euthanized. However, the HSOG was committed to
saving as many lives as possible and took extreme measures to further
prevent other dogs from being exposed, both in the shelter and in the

To do this, the shelter ceased animal intake (except in extreme emergency
situations), temporarily suspended adoptions, implemented isolation
protocols, and euthanized only dogs that tested positive.

The results are that the Humane Society of Greenwood saved 83% of dogs from
this serious and highly contagious viral disease.

On January 6th, 2022, after two grueling months, we are celebrating the end
of this outbreak. This is possible thanks to the hard work and dedication
of the HSOG staff, and the partnerships with the No Kill South Carolina
initiative team, Charleston Animal Society, Anderson County PAWS, and the
University of Florida Shelter Medicine team. Also key was the support from
the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office, Greenwood County Council, and our
community that generously assisted by donating, fostering, and complying
with the unique requirements implemented to manage the outbreak.

Several new procedures and protocols have been developed and implemented to
prevent new disease outbreaks in the shelter, including Animal Control
Intakes and Owner Surrenders. We’ll be sharing these new processes with you
in the near future.

Thank you for your faithful and continued support and for helping us during
this very difficult time.