FLUVANNA COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- An area animal shelter is in dire need of foster families to help take care of the dogs it has.

The Fluvanna SPCA says a puppy that was recently taken in as a stray has been diagnosed with distemper.

The animal shelter says this is the first time in more than nine years it has had a positive case of this virus, which is very contagious.

Shelter officials say they are trying to take all precautions possible to protect other dogs in the shelter by shutting down the kennels for at least three weeks.

According to a post on the shelter’s Facebook page, families that are interested in fostering that have no other dogs in their home and will not have other dogs visiting their property can foster non-symptomatic dogs.

These families will need to be diligent in following certain protocols, but by getting and keeping the population within the shelter down, the spread of the virus can be reduced.

The shelter says it is fast-tracking foster homes for its most vulnerable animals.

While the Fluvanna SPCA is still required to take in strays, it is asking people who find a stray to try to keep it in their possession until an owner is found.

It is also requiring a vaccine upon intake of all strays in order to do everything possible to protect any animals that are brought in.

At this time, owner surrenders will not be allowed until the shelter has been declared clear of the virus.

Just the day before this puppy was diagnosed with distemper, seven other puppies tested positive for parvo. Those animals were sent out for emergency treatment.

For more information about the shelter, click here.