- Associated Press - Monday, May 18, 2015

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Animal welfare authorities say more than a dozen dogs have been euthanized at a central Pennsylvania animal shelter after one of the dogs dropped off spread a fatal virus.

The Lancaster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says 14 dogs had to be euthanized over the weekend to prevent further spread of canine distemper.

Director Susan Officials said an infected Great Pyrenees had been adopted within 24 hours of being surrendered, but the highly contagious virus spread anyway.

Distemper attacks the respiratory and central nervous systems. Symptoms can take some time to appear, and when they do they’re often mistaken for the common kennel cough, which is also contagious but less dangerous to dogs.

The shelter closed Friday but will reopen Tuesday.

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