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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


The Reigning Queen 2012 Karen Jordan and 2013 La Reina de Costa Maya Queen contestants will be hosting a benefit cocktail party Monday July 29 at Fido’s Restaurant for SAGA Humane Society.

The nights proceeds will benefit Operation SNIP. A high standard pet sterilization campaign, offering free spay/neuter to the pets of  Ambergris Caye.  The goal of Operation SNIP is to sterilize 75% of the island    animals in 3-5 years.






– See more at: For Paws 2013


Saga HS would like to give a heartfelt Thank You to everyone involved in making Cook Off- Summer Salads a stellar night.  Wet Willy’s Cantina was the host of the event July 17. Tickets sold out in record time, 15 minutes! The proceeds of the night will help 30 low income pets be sterilized for FREE through Operation SNIP. Thank you Wet Willy’s for hosting us and our supporters for a pleasurable evening.

There were seven great entries into this month’s contest. Summer Salads was the theme and it brought out many talented chefs to participate.  After all the votes were counted Ruben Gonzalez was the 1st prize winner with Orange Chicken Pasta Salad. 2nd prize winner went to Lonestar Restaurant with Watermelon Feta Mint Salad.  Our gracious host Wet Willy’s was 3rd prize with a BLT Salad.  The other mouth watering entries were – Bacon Chicken Vegetable Salad from Sharon Metcalfe, Corn & Black Bean Salad made by Rosa LaRosa, Chicken Salad by Faride Lima (sponsored by Michele Colbert), and Fiesta Pasta Salad from Carolina Gonzalez (sponsored by Renee Steinmetz and Pampered Paws). Thank you all for your time and effort spent supporting our efforts.  We appreciate it.

Local business generously supported the night with donations for our famous raffle.  The raffle prices were from Breakfast or lunch from Melt, Lunch or Dinner from Waraguma Restaurant and Lunch or Dinner from El Divino Restaurant. Thank you for your commitment to supporting your community.

The night was made possible by our hardworking volunteers. Thank you for helping make the night a sellout success. Volunteers were Renee Steinmetz, Faith Noel, Alice Corrigan, Julie, Cindy Carlson, Zulema Ayala, Danny Cann, Iliana Paj, Carolina Gonzalez, Ingrid Lima, Sharon Metcalfe, Grant Crimmins and Rosa La Rosa. Thank you Rebecca Coutant of the San Pedro Scoop for taking the pictures.

Wet Willy’s knows It’s Hip to SNIP!


Saga Humane Society aims to help reduce the problems associated with community and street animals on Ambergris Caye by introducing a pet population management program, Operation SNIP (Spay Neuter Initiative Project).  To reduce the breeding populations and reduce the number of street animals, 75-90% of all dogs and cats on the island will need to be sterilized in a 3-5 year time frame to be effective.  Saga HS has pledged to raise money or bring visiting Veterinary teams to offer low cost or free spay/neuter, with a goal of 1,000 animals per year during this project. The primary objective of comprehensive animal management program should be to keep the population of dogs and cats on Ambergris Caye down to a level where there is no need to destroy healthy and friendly animals, but without accumulating them in the Saga HS shelter.

To help us reach our goal of 1,000 animals for 2013 Saga HS is pleased to make available 75 free spay/neuters for the month of July. Dr. Baptist will be performing surgeries the second week of July.  Dr. Don Tummons of Duck Hollow Animal Hospital in Uniontown, PA will return to San Pedro July 15-26. Dr. Dr. Don helped Saga HS kick off Operation SNIP on his last visit in March 2013 in which he spay/neutered 50 animals.  He and his assistant Mary Maykuth are superstars to Saga HS, they use their own vacation time to come and help the animals of Ambergris Caye.

To help raise money and recognize our special guests join us Wednesday July 17, 2013 at Wet Willy’s Cantina for Cook Off- Summer Salads.  Tickets go on sale at 6pm, serving will start at 6:30.  Arrive early as tickets do sell out early.  Cook Off entries should be able to serve 60 sample portions.  There will be raffle prizes with all the nights’ proceeds benefiting Operation SNIP.

Take advantage of this limited promotion during July for free spay/neuter. Call for your appointment 226-3266

San Pedro knows It’s Hip to SNIP!


Hi!  My name is Sophie!  I was living in a trash can and was rescued and brought to Saga.   I’m 8 weeks old and very sweet and playful and very grateful to have been brought here.  Please come see me and all my friends at the Saga Humane Society today! 226-3266




SAGA Humane Society and the San Pedro Town Board are working together to help dog owners be better neighbours and members of the community.  This article will help you to understand what you can do, as a dog owner, to make San Pedro a more beautiful, happier and healthier place for residents and tourists alike. Don’t forget that when you choose to get a dog, your neighbours have no say in that choice.

  • Neuter or spay your dog.  This will prevent them from spreading disease and from adding to the dog overpopulation problem we have in San Pedro. It will also make them healthier and more loyal.
  • Keep your dog under control and in your yard at all times.  No one deserves to be frightened or hurt by your dog.
  • When in public or on the street keep your dog on a leash. Do not let them roam free while you are at work, a bar or community festival.
  • Pick up after your dog in public if it poops. Scoop it, bag it, trash it.
  • All puppies are born with roundworms and there are other internal parasites that they can catch, such as tapeworms.  When a dog poops on the ground and has worms, there is a risk that someone could become infected.  For the health and safety of everyone, it is important to worm your puppies and adult dogs regularly.  There is a good reason it is an offence to allow your dog to poop in a public place and not clean it up immediately.  It is a health hazard to humans, especially children.
  • Make sure that your dog does not disturb garbage cans as this not only makes San Pedro look dirty, but is a health hazard.
  • Do not allow your dog to bark all night.  Everyone wants a good night’s sleep and it is unfair if you allow your dog to keep other people awake.
  • All dogs should be kept up to date with their vaccinations.  This will help to stop them from catching or spreading diseases.  Rabies is a very important shot to keep up to date as rabies can be transmitted to humans and is life threatening.
  • Fleas carry tapeworms, so making sure that you have effective flea protection for your pets is essential.
  • We all know how common ticks are, but they too transmit dangerous diseases, such as tick fever, to dogs.  Many beloved dogs die unnecessarily because the owners have neglected to protect their dogs from ticks.  Mosquitoes also carry the deadly heartworm and so it is very important that every dog is given heartworm prevention on a monthly basis.

To find out how you can be a great neighbour and to learn more about preventing, worms, fleas, ticks or if you want your dog neutered or spayed, please call SAGA Humane Society on 226 3266.


Saga HS wants to say a BIG Thank you to Cara Dalton, Teena Davis and Mary Maykuth. Cara donated the money for our Operation SNIP collars, Teena brought them to us and Mary got us a great price. Now each animal helped through Operation SNIP will be given these green collars to wear with pride. Be on the look out, this week the wonderful Dr. Orlando Amir Baptist and Miss Ingrid Lima were able to SNIP (spay/neuter) another 25 animals! Good job. San Pedro is learning It’s Hip to SNIP!

SAGA Humane Society Zumbathon® Charity Event

SAGA Humane Society
Zumbathon® Charity Event