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.

Sherri Stankewitz (right) and Fix Long Beach vet tech SJ Montano are plainly pleased to be part of a battle with a deadly dog disease. Photo courtesy of Sherri Stankewitz.

You could have knocked Sherri Stankewitz over with a Milk-Bone when she walked into the main hall at the Veterinary Meeting and Expo in Orlando, Florida and came face to face with herself.

“I came into the Elanco booth, and I see this big screen with me on the video!” Stankewitz said. “I was — oh my God, I was flattered, then I was embarrassed, then it was, damn, that’s right! We were the very first hospital to use CPMA in the whole United States!” Watch Stankewitz fighting back tears in Elanco’s video presentation at the Expo.

And by “we,” she means Long Beach. 

CPMA is the initialism for Canine Parvovirus Monoclonal Antibody, a game-changing treatment developed by veterinary health corporation Elanco. It is thus far the only treatment of its type to get USDA conditional approval to target a disease that had, up until a few months ago, been a death sentence for dogs.

Canine parvovirus (parvo) is a highly contagious disease that infects mostly puppies, but adult dogs can get it as well. Parvo sickens an estimated 900 dogs a day, with a 90% death rate in untreated dogs. Vaccination sharply reduces contagion, but the dog must receive a series of shots from puppyhood.

In May 2023, Stankewitz’s parvo clinic at Fix Long Beach was given access to purchase CPMA — the first clinic in the nation to do so. 

Now, 350 completely cured dogs later — an 87.5% cure rate of the 400 dogs taken in since opening the clinic in January 2023 — Stankewitz and Fix Long Beach were asked to join Elanco’s Parvo Defender Task Force, a veterinary “think tank” comprising leaders in the veterinary and dog-loving community who share ideas and experiences and act as advisors to others. 

The task force is bolstered by a campaign to enlist and encourage dog owners, veterinarians and pet lovers to take the Defend Puppies. Defeat Parvo. pledge to “save 1 million puppies by 2030 by spreading the word about parvo’s signs and symptoms as well as breakthrough treatments that can help put a stop to parvo-related deaths.”

“Sherri and the team at The Fix Project are passionate and dedicated to providing affordable treatment for canine parvovirus in their community,” said Dr. Jennifer Miller, technical veterinarian with Elanco. “Since incorporating Elanco’s Canine Parvovirus Monoclonal Antibody treatment, they have seen shorter hospitalizations and better outcomes for their patients. It is a natural fit for The Fix Project to join the mission to save 1 million puppies by 2030, since all day, every day, they fight to save puppies from this horrible disease and increase community awareness about parvo.”

Stankewitz and her staff will add information gained at the Expo to Fix Parvo ICU protocols. She hopes to hire more part-time vet techs and veterinarians who can work night shifts to monitor the patients.

“I’m just here to save the animals,” Stankewitz said. “I was very humbled when I saw myself on screen, but I’m very proud of myself, too.”

She should be.

Fix Long Beach is holding monthly low-cost pet health clinics where you can vaccinate your pets to keep them healthy. Donations to Fix Long Beach may be made here. Call 562-337-8268 for employment information.

Pets to adopt or foster

Here are three doggies that have been rescued by Sparky and the Gang and restored to glowing health by Fix Long Beach. To see all the fosters and fill out an adoption application, access this link.


As you can see, Amber is a darling girl. She’s one of the products of backyard breeding, but she’s healthy now and ready to go home with you. She loves other dogs and is playful and sweet.


Lilly is a young boxer/Saint Bernard mix who was pulled from an overcrowded shelter outside Long Beach where she was 15 minutes from euthanasia. She loves dogs and humans but she sees cats as just asking to be chased!


Amelie is a 5-year-old Maltipoo. She was abandoned on the street and then hit by a car. Long Beach Animal Care Services rescued her, and Sparky and the Gang pulled her. She has partial paralysis but gets around fine. She received extensive medical care and the Sparky gang knows what’s going on with her, so if you want to give a special-needs dog the care she deserves and her ultimate need — a cozy bed and lots of love — contact Sparky and the Gang.

Pet events and announcements

Fix Long Beach inaugural emergency vaccine clinic

The best way to prevent a deadly disease from striking your pets is to get them vaccinated and examined. To assist people who live with pets, Fix Long Beach is hosting monthly emergency clinics that will offer vaccinations and topical flea treatment at low prices, and they’ve added a BYOP (bring your own poop — your pet’s, that is) examination for parasites. Details and prices available here.

The inaugural clinic will take place Saturday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fix Long Beach, 1749 Magnolia Ave., Long Beach. Register here or call 562-337-8268 for this and future clinics.

 Stray and feral cat workshop rescheduled

The Stray and Feral Cat Resource Workshop, planned for earlier in January at an outdoor venue, has been rescheduled because of rain. If you haven’t applied to take part in the event, access this link for details. The workshop will take place Feb. 10 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.; email [email protected] to enroll and receive location information.

Rabbit vaccine clinic

The Bun Chia Burrow, a small-pets boarding and bonding facility with mobile grooming is holding an RHDV-2 vaccine clinic at its Long Beach facility. RHDV-2 is a virus 100% fatal to rabbits, and domestic bunnies must be vaccinated against it. A wellness exam is included. The clinic is by appointment only.

The clinic will take place Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $35 for the vaccine if the first dose was given at Bun Chia; $50 if this is your bunny’s first time. Email [email protected] to register, and complete this form for your rabbits. Location will be provided after registration.

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