Vol. 13, No. 18 – June 3 – June 16, 2020 – The Pet Page

∙SPAN Thrift Store is now open to the public and in dire need of volunteers to operate day to day. If you are interested or have questions please call (805) 641-1170 to inquire.

In addition to that, SPAN is back and providing $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.

Two clinics in June are: Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, 93036 on Friday, June 12th, and Friday, June 26th at Shiells Park, in the parking lot, located at 649 C St., Fillmore, 93015. Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.

∙Wondering how popular your pooch really is? Now you can find out. The most popular dog breeds of 2019 were released on May 1, 2020 (also National Purebred Dog Day) based on 2019 AKC registration statistics.

It may come as no surprise that the Labrador Retriever takes the top spot for the 29th year in a row, but other big movers and shakers include the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which broke into the top 10 this year for the first time ever. Other notable changes include the Icelandic Sheepdog, which jumped up 24 spots since last year.

So why do registration statistics matter? Registration is not only beneficial for your dog, but for dogs everywhere. The American Kennel Club and its affiliates have donated over $38 million to canine health research and $7 million to pet disaster relief.

Additionally, the AKC is the only purebred dog registry in the United States that maintains a systematic and sustained investigation and inspection effort. The AKC conducts thousands of inspections each year to ensure compliance with standards that support the health, safety, and welfare of dogs and the environments in which they live.

Shih Tzu’s were number 20 so, obviously being adorable doesn’t count for much.

∙Working from home can be an adjustment, not just for you, but your pets too.

By Christopher Gavin, Boston.com Staff

As Dr. Edward Schettino, vice president of animal welfare and veterinary services at the Animal Rescue League of Boston points out, your dog or cat may not be thrilled with no longer having the house to themselves all day.

Keeping a routine is important.

Dogs are creatures of habit, according to Schettino. (There’s a good chance your cat, however, will just keep their routine humming on their own.)

The dog park isn’t really the place for social distancing, so don’t underestimate the power of a good walk.

“Taking your dog on a long walk, just exhausting your dog, will keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated,” Schettino said.

Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell Animal Medical Center, agrees. “It’s a good time to go out for a walk with your dog, or a hike in the woods with a dog,” he said.

There aren’t any cases of animals contracting COVID-19, according to Schettino. But experts believe the coronavirus can live on fur and hair.

That means washing your pup when you return home, especially after a pet from a neighbor or passerby.

It’s also a good time to practice training. Keiley said the MSPCA is working on getting advice on that up on its website soon.

In the event that someone becomes sick and is unable to walk and/or take care of their pet, both Schettino and Keiley said they recommend they reach out to neighbors, family, or friends.

“If someone is sick and asking you to walk their dog, just be careful,” Schettino said, pointing to the need to wash animals — and your hands — upon returning home.

According to Keiley, it’s also important that pet owners have a plan in place should they get separated or need to be separated from their animal. That includes having food and pet records readily available.

And don’t forget to check in on pet owners proactively.

“Obviously, we are always a backup… but given this crisis and the potential impact, we really need the whole community to support each other through this,” Keiley said.

∙As states grapple with COVID-19 mitigation, questions have immediately arisen as to whether veterinary practices are considered “essential businesses.” The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), its 95,000 plus members, and key veterinary stakeholders urge that veterinary practices be considered “essential businesses” in cases where non-essential retail facilities are asked to close or repurpose personal protective equipment (PPE) due to COVID-19. Veterinary teams provide essential animal care, play a critical role in protecting the health of animals that enter the food supply, and serve as trusted members of the local community in disaster situations.

Last week, risk mitigation strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19 were announced by the federal government and many state and local governments. In some localities, such as San Francisco, and states, like Maryland and Pennsylvania, veterinary practices are appropriately considered “essential businesses.” They recognized that the services veterinary teams provide are critical to animal and public health, and thereby specifically designated veterinary practices as “essential businesses,” in line with other healthcare providers, supermarkets, and pharmacies. We urge all authorities to similarly designate veterinary practices as essential businesses, and also ensure their ability to obtain necessary medical supplies.

Veterinary practices provide the following essential services:

Frontline veterinary practitioners and staff are among the healthcare professionals who provide surveillance for diseases deemed reportable by state and federal governments, including zoonotic diseases, such as rabies, influenza and Lyme Disease. They are also responsible for issuing certificates of veterinary inspection that are required for the movement of animals between states and countries, including those entering the food supply.

Veterinarians are an integral part of our nation’s food and fiber industries. Veterinary care is critical to ensure that only healthy animals enter the food supply. While primarily housed on farms, food animals are also present in urban areas.

Veterinary practices provide medical and surgical care daily for critically ill and injured animals.

Veterinarians provide care for service and therapy animals, supporting both animal and human welfare.

Veterinarians also oversee the care of laboratory animals, which are critical to research that leads to the development of pharmaceuticals and biologics, including vaccines such as those currently being developed to combat COVID-19.

Veterinarians care for rare, threatened, and endangered animals in zoos, aquaria, wildlife rehabilitation clinics, and wildlife facilities. Even if such entities need to be closed to the public for COVID-19 mitigation, veterinarians and animal care staff must continue to care for these animals.

Veterinarians and our support staff are trusted professionals involved in disaster situations. While perhaps different from a statutory and regulatory perspective, the training, education, and experience of veterinarians and our staff in disasters are clearly transferrable skills in whatever COVID-19 risk mitigation is deemed necessary.

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