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Saga Humane Society would like to alert the community of a Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) outbreak in San Mateo.  22 cases of distemper have already been seen at the Saga HS clinic. To prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease Saga HS will be doing a Mobile Clinic Tuesday August 6 to the affected neighborhood and will be vaccinating the area dogs. Vaccines will be at no charge to low income residents or $10 for those who can afford to pay. Saga HS seeks to raise $1000 to buy the vaccinations.  This will buy enough vaccinations for 100 animals.

To keep your dog safe make sure it is current on all vaccinations. Contain your dog within your yard and do not allow it to interact with unknown dogs. Puppies from three to six months old are particularly susceptible. CDV spreads through aerosol droplets and through contact with infected bodily fluids, including nasal and ocular secretions, feces, and urine, six to 22 days after exposure. It can also be spread by food and water contaminated with these fluids. The time between infection and disease is 14 to 18 days, although a fever can appear from three to six days after infection The virus is destroyed in the environment by routine cleaning with disinfectants, detergents, or drying. It does not survive in the environment for more than a few hours at room temperature (20–25°C), but can survive for a few weeks in shady environments.

Saga HS will keep the public updated on this situation.  If you suspect your dog has been exposed to CDV, seek veterinary medical care for your dog immediately.

Distemper in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments [1] From Pet WebMD

Distemper is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus similar to the one that causes measles in people. Worldwide, it is the leading cause of infectious disease deaths in dogs,  All unvaccinated dogs are at high risk of infection.

Infected animals shed canine distemper virus in all body secretions. Inhaling the virus is the primary source of exposure. The highest incidence of the disease occurs in unvaccinated puppies 6 to 12 weeks of age.

Half the dogs who become infected with canine distemper virus show mild signs of illness or no signs at all. The overall health of the dog has a lot to do with how ill he becomes. The disease is most severe in dogs who are poorly nourished and ill-kept.

The distemper virus tends to attack brain cells and cells that line the surfaces of the body, including the skin, the conjunctiva, the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, and the gastrointestinal tract. The disease takes a variety of forms. Secondary infections and complications are common, partly attributable to the immunosuppressive effects of the virus.

The first signs of distemper appear six to nine days after exposure, and in mild cases go unnoticed.

First stage is characterized by a fever spike of up to 103° to 105°F (39.4° to 40.5°C). A second fever spike is accompanied by loss of appetite, listlessness, and a watery discharge from the eyes and nose. These symptoms may be mistaken for a cold.

Within a few days, the eye and nasal discharge becomes thick, yellow, and sticky. The dog develops a pronounced dry cough. Pus blisters may appear on the abdomen. Vomiting and diarrhea are frequent and may cause severe dehydration.

During the next one to two weeks, very often the dog seems to be getting better but then relapses. This often coincides with the end of the course of antibiotics and the development of gastrointestinal and respiratory complications due to secondary bacterial invasion.

Second stage occurs two to three weeks after the onset of the disease. Many dogs develop signs of brain involvement (encephalitis), characterized by brief attacks of slobbering, head shaking, and chewing movements of the jaws (as if the dog were chewing gum). Epileptic-like seizures may occur, in which the dog runs in circles, falls over, and kicks all four feet wildly. After the convulsive episode the dog appears to be confused, shies away from his owner, wanders about aimlessly, and appears to be blind.

Treatment: Distemper must be treated by a veterinarian. Antibiotics are used to prevent secondary bacterial infections, even though they have no effect on the distemper virus. Supportive treatment includes intravenous fluids to correct dehydration, medications to prevent vomiting and diarrhea, and anticonvulsants and sedatives to control seizures.

The outcome depends on how quickly you seek professional help, the virulence of the distemper strain, the age of the dog, whether he has been vaccinated, and his ability to mount a rapid and effective immune response to the virus.

In some cases Euthanasia is the best when the dogs are suffering.

Prevention: Vaccination against canine distemper is almost 100 percent protective. All puppies should be vaccinated by 8 weeks of age. Brood bitches should be given a DHLPPv (distemper, hepatitis,Lepstoporosis,  Parvovirus and parainfluenza combination) booster shot two to four weeks before breeding.


Puppy with Distemper

Puppy with Distemper

When you take your dog into a public place, you must secure it with a leash and collar and pick up after your dog if it relieves itself.
Doo it! It’s the law.
Doo it!  Scoop it. Bag it. Trash it.

Doo it!
Scoop it.
Bag it.
Trash it.


Saga’s statistics for 2012 are as follows – these show that the animals allowed to breed freely in
private homes are a significant part of the problem of animal over population. People are letting
their animals have puppies and kittens. When they cannot or do not want to care for them, they
surrender them to Saga HS or let them out into the street.

Dogs Rounded Up :180
Dogs Returned to Owner: 33 (after payment of a fine)
Surrender (owner left at Saga): 359 Dogs and Cats
Euthanized: 346 Dogs and Cats, 99 were dogs from rounds ups
Adopted Out into New Homes: 168 Dogs and Cats
Spayed/Neutered: 451 Dogs and Cats
Vaccinated: 159 Dogs and Cats
Treated Free of Charge: 134 Dogs and Cats

Unwanted animals

Unwanted animals




Hi!  My name is Ruby!  I’m only 5 weeks old, and I was brought to Saga by my owner who thought you might be able to give me a better life than she could.  I’m being well taken care of by Saga’s super volunteer Harmony but anxious for you to come and adopt me.

Please come see me and all my friends at the Saga Humane Society today!


Saga’s Monthly Cook Off will take place on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at Average Joe’s Bar!  This month’s theme is DESSERTS!

Bring your favorite dessert to Average Joe’s to compete with some of the island’s best chefs.  Prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.  Or join us to vote for your favorite. Serving starts at 6:30 p.m.

All proceeds will go toward Operation SNIP (Spay Neuter Initiative Program). For every $100 raised, we will be able to SNIP 2 animals.  It’s HIP to SNIP!

There will be raffles with great prizes!  Live music!  Fun for all the family!  Come on out and support the SAGA Humane Society.

IMPORTANT NOTE!  This time only — for every dollar donated or made at the cook off, your donation will be matched by a donor up to US$1000.00!    Ruff-ruff-meow!



Ramon Nunez

Saga would like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Mr. Ramon Nunez for soliciting a donation of $1000.00 bze towards the SNIP (Spay Neuter Initiative Program) campaign.

For every $1000.00 raised, we can spay/neuter 30 dogs/cats.

Thank you, Mr. Nunez!



Hi!  My name is Romi.   I’m a 2 month old boy and was rescued by the good folks at Ramon’s Village.  I’m a very shy little guy and am so looking forward to finding a real home very soon!  Please come see me and all my friends at the Saga Humane Society today!


Saga Humane Society’s 9th Annual Halloween Party and Fundraiser was held on Sunday, October 28th in Central Park.  Saga wishes to thank each and every person and business who helped us make this event a super success!

We did our best to include everyone who donated merchandise, food, or time to help Saga with this event.  Please let us know right away if we need to add you (and please forgive us).  Thank you!

Fabulous Prize Donations (Auction, Raffle, Giveaways & Contests):

Black Orchid Restaurant
Bed & Breakfast
Blue Water Grill
Caliente’s Restaurant
Captain Sharks
Casa Picasso Restaurant
Changes in Latitudes
Chuck & Robbie’s Dive Shop
Cindy from Asian Gardens Spa
Conch Creative Photography
Coral Cable
Crazy Canuck’s Beach Bar
D&E’s Frozen Custard and Sorbet, Owners Eileen and Dan Jamieson
Denny’s Truck Stop and Donut Shop, Owner Ms. Dulce Wolfe
Dive Instructor Eddie Alamilla
El Divino Restaurant at Banana Beach
Elvi’s Kitchen
Go Fish Belize
Heather Beck
Hidden Treasures Restaurant
Hurricanes Ceviche Bar & Restaurant
Indigo Beach Homes
Island Resorts and Carts Belize
Jamila and Jim Janmohamed
Kakaw Chocolate
La Isla Bonita Golfcart Rentals
Leslie’s Salon
Lick’s Cafe
Lynn (niece of Forrest Jones)
Mambo Chill Boutique
Mary Gonzalez
Mary Maykuth
Moncho’s Golfcart Rental
Oceanfront Suites
Palapa Bar & Grill
Pampered Paws Grooming and Pet Store
Phoenix Resort
Picasso Spirits – Ms. Jean Allred
Quan’s Boutique
Red Ginger Restaurant
Roadkill Bar
Seaduced by Belize
Searious Adventures
Sea Turtle
Squirrels Nest Bar at Mata Rocks
Sunbreeze Hotel
Sunbreeze Suites
Tamara Sniffin
Teacher Lisa
The Palms
Tim and Sandy Dorion
Traveller’s Rum & Spirits
Tropic Air
Victoria House
Wahoo’s Lounge
Wayo’s Beach Bar
Wet Willy’s Cantina
Wing’s Department Store

Food and Food Ingredient Donations. So many!

Amaya’s Mini-Store
Ambergris Store
Annie’s Bakery and Chips
Best Buy Store
Big Tree Fruits and Vegetables
Caminantes Store
Casa Pan Dulce Bakery
Caye Mart
Cindy of Asian Garden’s Spa
Dalia’s Store
El Dorado
Island Supermarket
Jamie’s Store
La Divina Providencia
Lino’s Meats
Local Grocery Store
Marina’s Store
Mary Gonzalez of San Pedro Sun
Mermaid Grocery Store
Quality Poultry
Ritchie’s Supermarket
Rock’s Store
Rou Rou Supermarket
San Pedrano Store
Save-On Store
Super Buy Supermarkets
SuperValue Store
The Village Market
Tiendita MC
Wade the Gringo

Just a few of the many delicious food items donated

Our Esteemed Judges:  Councilman Kenrick (SPTC), Lady Dixie Bowen, Cherie Vincent from ACES, Tamara Sniffin of the San Pedro Sun

(L to R) Cherie Vincent, Tamara Sniffin, Councilman Kenrick, Dixie Bowen

Our Special Guest Emcee:   Rhonda Crichton of Morning Matters

(L to R) Ari explaining about doggie poop bags, Rhonda keeping the show running smoothly

Our Wonderful Event Volunteers:  LouAnn & Bob, Renee Steinmetz, Sybil & Dez, Rosa & Joe La Rosa,
Rex & Tiffany, Sue Vasquez, Sue Blair (Coco Loco’s Bar), Jo Ann, Jan Lyons, Mike & Michelle Bell, and Sandy!

Volunteers waiting to serve delicious food

 The Fantastic Winners of the Pet Costume Contest!

Scariest – Owner Sabrina with “Cosmo” the Yorkie spider

Funniest – Owner Katherine Canul with “Jubilee” the Orange Juicebox

Cutest – Owner Carmelita with “Toby” the Chihuahua Bee

Best Couple – Owner Charles Jr. with “Gypsy” together dressed as Men in Black

Most Original – Owner Julian Paz with the Turtle Sunflower

Finally, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out to support Saga by buying raffle tickets, food, beverages, and other merchandise.  Every bit helps to help the Saga help the dogs and cats of Ambergris Caye!

Here are a few more photos from the event.  There were so many cute and creative costumes!