MADISONVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Monroe County Animal Shelter is “in desperate need” of foster homes as an illness spread through its dog population.

The shelter shared on Friday that they are experiencing an outbreak of upper respiratory illness in its dog population. This outbreak has caused the shelter to close adoption until March 3, however, they are seeking foster homes to take in dogs that have not yet been exposed.

“We are working closely with our shelter veterinarians and closing all canine intakes for a 14-day period. We will be closed beginning on Friday 2/17/23 and hope to reopen on Friday 3/3/23. We apologize for the inconvenience that this may cause, but please understand that we are doing what is best for the animals in our care and the community,” said the shelter in a statement.

The shelter is also seeking foster homes for cats. This week, several large groups of cats were brought to the shelter from a hoarding situation. The shelter is now facing overcrowding issues.

“We will still be taking appointments for cat adoptions and microchip services. Please contact us at 423-442-1015 or, if you have questions or would like to make an appointment,” shared the shelter.

The shelter says that there is no cost to foster an animal. Those interested in fostering can visit their website. On their website, they say posting is ideal for seniors, familiar and anyone “looking for a way to truly make a difference in an animal’s life.”

The outbreak also cause the shelter to cancel their Adoptathon that was scheduled for Friday. A new date has not yet been set.