The Scratching Post is a weekly newsletter from pets columnist Kate Karp, bringing you all the latest news on pet adoptions, animal welfare and ways to get involved.

“The poor guy shook like a leaf when he came in,” said Fix Long Beach volunteer Louise as she held up a little survivor to Traci Schuyver of Saving Imperial Rescue. The dog had been fed meth and was headed to a foster. Photo by Kate Karp

Long Beach clinic is road-testing a new weapon against parvo

Veterinarians have a new weapon against a deadly canine virus.

Canine Parvovirus Monoclonal Antibody treatment—CPMA was developed by Elanco Animal Health; so far, clinical trials have reported a 100% save rate in a lab situation, which is impressive and promising. And Long Beach has a new parvo ICU, one of a handful of such clinics in the country.

In January, Long Beach animal warrior Sherri Stankewitz set out to create a parvo ward at Fix Long Beach, the clinic she co-owns with Diana Kliche (you can read about it here). Sherri never does anything by halves—she and her team of volunteers and vets often stay past closing, sometimes 24 hours, to handle emergencies.

Sherri’s first dog had nearly died of parvo, so the new clinic is a personal triumph. About 30 years ago, she bought her dalmatian, Riley Ri, from a backyard breeder (“We all learn,” she said). Although Riley had been fully vaccinated, she contracted parvo.

“I lived in Venice Beach at the time,” Sherri said. “One day, she didn’t want to eat, and I knew right then and there that something was wrong. I took her to the vet, and he told me that a lot of people bring their unvaccinated dogs to the beach, and she got parvo. I was going to go to London—it was my first time going to Europe—and I called the airline. They refunded my money—it was $700 then—and I paid the vet.”

Three decades ago, that was a lot of money. Today, though, traditional treatment can cost a few thousand dollars, and that’s without CPMA. The new treatment isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s a fraction of the traditional cost; furthermore, the dosage consists of only one injection and the recovery rate is twice as fast. 

Sherri had long hoped for a parvo breakthrough. When CPMA approval was announced, she contacted Elanco and virtually, or maybe literally, sat up and begged for doses. Elanco sent two representatives to the clinic, who were impressed enough to grant her access to the treatment, and B-I-N-G-O, the Fix Long Beach Parvo ICU was its name.

“As a pet owner myself, I appreciate The Fix Project’s commitment to tackling this awful disease day in and day out,” said Season Solorio, Elanco corporate communications spokesperson. 

Keep an eye out for a more detailed article about CPMA, the new ICU, and Sherri’s out-of-the-crate plans to help people who can’t afford the treatment. Meanwhile, please adopt your pups from shelters and known rescues, and remember that the best way to fight any pet disease is with vaccinations. Make sure your pets are current on theirs.

Donate here to help Fix Long Beach cover the lower cost of its parvo treatments.

Pets to adopt or foster

Fix Long Beach volunteer Louise said that 270 parvo-infected dogs have been cured since January. Meet three survivors who are completely healthy and ready to go home, thanks to the CPMA treatment. 

The adoption fee for each is $450, which covers spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchips and cost recovery for parvo treatment. They’re all under the care of Sparky and the Gang, which shares offices with Fix Long Beach. For more information on adoption and fostering from Sparky, click this link.

Courtesy of Sparky and the Gang.

Bronson will always be the tough good guy. He’s a darling pup who loves the cats in his foster home and has already learned a few tricks. He also loves other dogs, and with his clean bill of health would love a yard to run around in with them.

Courtesy of Sparky and the Gang.

Victor is well named. He won the battle with parvo with flying colors. Fix Long Beach pulled him along with a number of siblings, all of whom have clean bills of health and have been adopted through Sparky and the Gang.

Courtesy of Sparky and the Gang.

Whiskers looks like someone’s bearded grandpa. We all hope that he’ll live up to a grandparent’s age in dog years. Now that he’s completely healthy, he has every chance of it. Now, he just needs a forever place to live in!

Pet events and announcements

Seal Beach Animal Care Center’s Pets Ahoy 

SBACC’S 15th annual wine-tasting event includes lunch from Finbar’s Italian Kitchen, wines from Riboli Family Wines, and live music by Tiffany Dennis. Fabulous auction items will also be there for the bidding. All proceeds go to the cats and dogs at the center; all donations are tax deductible.

Sunday, Oct. 1, Seal Beach Yacht Club, 255 Marina Drive, Seal Beach. Tickets are $75 online and $85 at the door.

Kitty and canine calendars

As the leaves fall in certain parts of the country, the leaves of our calendars are down to about two and a half months. A few of our local rescues are putting together their annual compendia of their pinup pups and kitties to adorn your wall and make the day a little more palatable. Proceeds from the calendars will help fund all the good things that each rescue does. Details below:

 To see a list of local animal rescue groups, click here.

Editor’s note: This newsletter has been updated to more accurately reflect the rate and number of dogs saved by CPMA treatment.