Veterinarian Erica Drake suggested the shelter close down for 30 days, just to be safe. She said it would be difficult for the shelter to close for that long, but some dogs take more than two weeks to start showing signs of distemper.
Drake also said a dog's first inoculation provides some protection against distemper, but the animals are not 100-percent protected until they receive a second round of shots three weeks later.
Wolfe said the shelter would close for at least two weeks, then re-evaluate the situation.
In the meantime, Dog Bless will try to place incoming strays with foster families. Wolfe said the shelter receives, on average, about 30 dogs each week.
Staley suggested board members set up a separate staging area away from the main shelter to keep new dogs until foster families could pick them up. She said Green's Feed and Seed has loaned Dog Bless portable kennels before, and might be willing to do so again.
Harry Carpenter, the Kanawha Sheriff's Department's home confinement chief, said the county's work release inmates would assist shelter workers in cleaning and sanitizing the facility.
He said day report workers already cut the grass and do other outside work at the shelter as part of their required community service hours.
Board members condemned rumors spread on social media sites this week that the shelter was euthanizing all its animals and was not following proper vaccination or sanitization practices.
"It's one thing to say it on the Internet. It's another thing to show up and back it up," board president Kim Hutton said.
Hutton pointed out none of the people spreading rumors online attended Thursday's meeting.
"They're hurting the animals by trying to hurt the shelter," member Sylvia Shafer said.
Veterinarians in attendance spoke up in support of the shelter.
"Your job is to take in the sick and the homeless, and you get blamed for sick and homeslessness," Lee said.
Lynn Frye, a veterinarian who serves as a liaison between Dog Bless and the shelter, said employees are constantly mopping floors and cleaning, trying to keep up with the messes dogs and cats create.
"There is always something to clean up," he said. "These people are right on top of things.
"I think the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association, the guys and ladies that work there, are doing a heck of a job."
Some Facebook rumors alleged the shelter was not vaccinating animals when they arrived at the shelter, which is required by humane association policy.
Donna Clark, executive director of the humane association, said when humane officers drop off animals after hours, they are placed in holding pens away from the rest of the shelter's animal population. Those animals are not vaccinated until the next morning, when shelter workers arrive.
"I think your measures are the best you can do," Nida said. "Eight hours is not going to make a difference."
If you'd like to help the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association, adopt an animal, volunteer your time or make a financial contribution, call 304-342-1576.
If you're interested in fostering a stray dog, contact Dog Bless via email at dogbles...@hotmail.com.Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-7939 or zack.har...@dailymail.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ZackHarold.