NRG Center clears and NRG Arena controls distemper outbreak

- It's leaving day for hundreds of evacuees who have spent the last several weeks at the NRG Center. Nearly 800 people, who have called this place home temporarily, are now looking elsewhere.

 "All I want is a house. That's all I want," says Ellen Brown-Wyatt. "I just need a home for me and my grandchildren."

Brown-Wyatt is one of the many who took refuge at NRG Center as rains turned to floods on August 26.

"It was a rental home, and it's damaged, and I can't clean it out. A church gave me a piece of paper to get people to come and help me get the stuff out. Not only is it damaged, it also was burglarized," says Brown-Wyatt.

She, her 5 family members, and 2 dogs are loading up their belongings as they leave the shelter and head to another one.

"We going over to Macy's, to Greenspoint Mall with the Red Cross," says Brown-Wyatt.

Buses taking those still needing a home to the Red Cross's newest shelter, just opening on Friday at Greenspoint Mall.

"And we are accepting those families and those individuals who need a place to go with open arms and we've been working really hard to make sure it's a safe comfortable environment for them," says Rick Harvey, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross.

Now officials at NRG Center are hoping everyone will be re-sheltered so they can close it down by Saturday.

Meanwhile, there's another shelter at NRG Park, the NRG Arena, where several hundred dogs and cats are being housed. Several dogs have contracted the highly contagious distemper.

"It is dangerous in that it is contagious and it's highly contagious between animals," says Dr. Erin Katribe, Medical Team Lead and Veterinarian for Best Friends Animal Society.

As of last count, 15 dogs tested positive for distemper. The outbreak, according to Dr. Katribe, beginning one to two weeks ago with one or possibly three dogs that brought distemper into the NRG Arena from a Montgomery County shelter.

"It is airborne, but only within a certain radius of the dog that's actually carrying it. The virus actually lives for a very short period of time outside of the dog," says Dr. Katribe.

Officials don't want this to deter volunteers. Humans are not at risk of contracting the disease.

The massive adoption event that was set to take place on October 14 has been postponed, pending the outcome of this distemper outbreak. A future date will be set later.

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