ODESSA, TX (KWES) - A pet rescue group is flying in to help with a distemper problem after the Odessa Animal Control Shelter was set to put down more than 140 dogs first thing Thursday morning.

The shelter was first notified of the exposure on November 28 and since then stopped the intake of animals to prevent any spreading of the highly-contagious disease.

After notifying owners reclaiming pets and rescue groups, 53 dogs were relocated. Others showing signs of disease were euthanized, as they were illegible for adoption or release.

American Pets Alive is currently trying to work with the shelter to save as many animals as possible. The non-profit group is based out of Austin and aims to end any unnecessary killing of animals.

The group tells us they will fly into Odessa Thursday morning and will help with assessment and management of the situation.

The decision was made Wednesday afternoon after the non-profit learned about the plans. They will also find placement for the animals while they help clean and sanitize the shelter.

This will all be free of cost to the City of Odessa, American Pets Alive tells us

The Odessa Police Department says they will test all the animals before deciding what course of action to take.

No specific date or time is set for animals to be euthanized. Unfortunately, however, euthanasia will be performed on dogs that are ill in accordance to policy.

Local veterinarians are also working with the shelter, according to Odessa Police.

Anyone missing a pet who thinks it might be at the OAC is encouraged to stop by the shelter to check.

We will continue to follow this story as it develops.