Why Parvo is devastating to our community
This week has felt like a marathon. Not that I would know what that feels like because what is running? Anyways, with the end of the week in sight, we’re feeling good. One final weekend with the little kittens and then we are back to a quiet(ish) household of three animals. It’s never something I look forward to with fostering, but it’ll be bittersweet to say goodbye. Anyways, no more kitten talk, let’s talk about puppies! More specifically, Parvo puppies and how devastating they are to the rescue community.
I already wrote about what Parvo is, but today, I’m touching on the havoc it’s wreaking across the city. In the past three weeks, 20 dogs have come into Chicago Animal Care and Control with Canine Parvovirus. Beyond the awful and heartbreaking battle these dogs face, they also rack up thousands in medical bills. Canine Parvovirus is highly contagious and hard to treat, so previously, dogs that were brought into Chicago Animal Care and Control were previously immediately euthanized.
The thing about Parvo is that while it’s so hard to treat, it’s extremely easy to prevent. There’s a relatively inexpensive vaccine that is part of a core vaccination. Puppies should get it around eight weeks and then every three weeks until they’re 16 weeks old. After that, they’ll get an annual booster shot. The vaccine is highly effective and is key in keeping dogs healthy.
To lower the number of infected dogs and reduce the burden of these dogs on the community, ALIVE Rescue teamed up with CRISP for the Parvo Prevention Project. The project was a series of four clinics throughout the summer at the Gage Park Field House. Residents in the area were encouraged to bring their pup for free Rabies, Distemper, and of course, Parvo vaccinations. The goal of the clinic was to try to eradicate Canine Parvovirus from Chicago. In total, the clinic provided over 1,200 vaccines to dogs for free.
Of course, the effects of the clinic aren’t immediate so we’re still in crisis mode. When I volunteered with CRISP at CACC yesterday, two dogs came in with Parvo. They were immediately sent to the hospital. In response to the dramatic number of dogs coming into our city shelter with the virus, CRISP (more about them here) has created the Parvo Intervention and Rescue Project. Through this program, CRISP pays for the treatment of the dog until it is Parvo-free.
It was heartbreaking when the dogs came in with Parvo yesterday. Knowing right off the bat that they would be fighting an uphill battle was a hard pill to swallow. Most of these precious babies are pit bull type puppies, barely given a chance at life. Out of the 20 (now 22) dogs that came into CACC with Parvo, three have already lost their battle. A few have come out on the other side and are now living their best lives thanks to the efforts of CRISP and its donors.
Already there are medical bills totaling $18,000 and they haven’t even been billed yet for half of the dogs in care. So, if your heart is breaking for these guys (of course it is) and you have a few dollars to spare, consider donating to CRISP. Help save the puppies!
Meet one of the Parvo survivors who is now ready for his forever home. He will be available for adoption soon through Second City Canine Rescue. His before and after pictures are incredible and he’s alive thanks to donors like you!