LEVELLAND, Texas — The City of Levelland announced the closure of its animal shelter following the confirmation of a highly contagious virus found in a stray dog brought to the shelter on October 24.

The dog tested positive for both Distemper virus and Mycoplasma Cynos, according to results from an independent testing company, IDEXX, a press release from the Levelland Police Department said.

The shelter will remain closed for a minimum of one month, potentially up to 120 days, to thoroughly disinfect and sterilize the facility. According to Levelland PD, the shelter will not accept animals or facilitate adoptions until it is confirmed that the virus has been completely eradicated. Anticipated reopening is slated for the end of December 2023, said the press release.

Captain Tammie McDonald with Levelland PD said during the closure period, the department’s focus will solely be on responding to animal bite situations, providing necessary reports and offering guidance on appropriate actions to take.

According to the press release, these actions are based on guidelines from Texas Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Control Program to safeguard the community and pets.

Levelland PD urged residents to remain vigilant and assured that every effort was being made to address the situation.

For more information, contact the Levelland Animal Shelter (806) 894-6164.