HSOG 01

This puppy, named Kobe, is one of the three dogs that have tested positive for canine distemper at the Humane Society of Greenwood.

Christmas can come early for pets.

A distemper outbreak at the Humane Society of Greenwood has resulted in a call for items to help the animals endure the problem.

Distemper is a contagious disease that attacks a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous system, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It’s spread when dogs sneeze or cough, and can be transmitted through shared food, water bowls and equipment.

Society supporters have set up an area for people to deliver items at the Sears store on 1344 Highway 72 Bypass NE. Victoria Miller said a box was set up Sunday.

The store is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

The store will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and will reopen for Black Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Miller said.

“We’re the town’s best-kept secret,” she said. “We love to help doggies and kitties.”

Items they are requesting include enrichment items such as water bottles (1/4 of the way full with dog food and peanut butter covering the opening on top), chew toys and kongs, paper towel rolls filled with dog food and a strong-smelling treat to activate dogs’ natural instinct to sniff and folded closed on both ends, and warming items.

With the spread of this sickness, many of the shelter’s linens will not be able to be reused. Staff members are also having to house dogs outside.

With the cold weather upon us, the shelter needs blankets, straw, towels, animal sweaters, Igloo dog houses and dog food.

Contact staff writer Robert Jordan at 864-943-5650.