NEWS RELEASE

August 6, 2019

Media Contact: Michael Bricker 609-213-2665 (cell) or mike@pvactx.org

Palm Valley Animal Center Needs Foster Homes for 100 Dogs for 10 Days
Animal Balance to Provide 600 Spay/Neuter Surgeries for the Shelter

Edinburg, TexasClear the Shelters (cleartheshelters.com) is a nationwide adoption event hosted by NBCUniversal, and Palm Valley Animal Center will be participating again in 2019. The event takes place on August 17 from 9AM to 4PM, with the goal of adopting every dog and cat in every participating shelter.

Although PVAC is currently working with a veterinary team from the University of Florida to address a recent increase in distemper diagnoses in the community, there are a number of dogs who are symptom-free and could be available for the Clear the Shelters event. Dr. Lisa Rodriguez, lead veterinarian at PVAC, writes:

“We are currently in the process of distemper testing dogs for Clear the Shelters. Dogs that test negative can be placed in foster care for 10 days, returned to the shelter for spay-neuter, if needed, and then placed on the adoption floor for the event on 8/17.”

Animal Balance (animalbalance.org), an international animal welfare organization that specializes in providing veterinary care to animals across the globe, has chosen Edinburg as the location for their first large-scale spay/neuter project inside the US. Funded by Best Friends Animal Society® (bestfriends.org) #SaveThemAll and Maddie’s Fund® (maddiesfund.org) #ThanksToMaddie, Animal Balance will arrive in Edinburg on August 8th with a team of veterinarians and support staff whose goal is to provide 600 spay/neuter surgeries in 4 days in preparation for Clear the Shelters.

In order to maximize this lifesaving opportunity, Palm Valley Animal Center is asking community members to open their homes to foster. If you have a home without any dogs – or have fully-vaccinated, adult dogs in your home – and would like to help – please contact the shelter at:

Main Number: 956-686-1141 Ask for the foster department
Email: foster@pvactx.org
Website: pvactx.org/foster Complete the foster application online

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NEWS RELEASE

August 2, 2019

Media Contact: Rebeca I Villanueva 956-369-6064 (cell) or rebeca@pvactx.org

Community Shelter, Palm Valley Animal Center, to Halt Dog Movement
and Reduce Intake to Combat Spread of Distemper

Edinburg, Texas - Palm Valley Animal Center (PVAC), the community’s shelter, will halt movement of dogs between their facilities, Palm Valley Animal Center and The Laurie P Andrews PAWS Center, and is reaching out to municipal partners for help in reducing intake to address their animal flow process.

The movement of animals between PVAC facilities has been halted. PVAC & PAWS continue to partner with rescue organizations and encourage local residents to foster or adopt to protect the shelter’s animals from illness or exposure.

Adoption, foster, return to owner and rescue activities will continue, though with precautions, Executive Director Mike Bricker said.

“Out of concern for the hundreds of animals who are currently under our care, PVAC has decided to take immediate, preemptive measures to isolate the issue,” he said.

“Temporarily halting the movement of animals between facilities will allow for us to create two independent populations and reduce disease transmission. Getting adoptable animals out of PVAC and PAWS and into foster, rescue or adopted homes is also essential.”

Although PVAC has seen a huge improvement in lifesaving, increasing its live release by 30% in the first six months of 2019, the community continues to see the same challenges that increase the risk of illness out in the streets and that illness is introduced in to the shelter. The vast majority of the animals surrendered to PVAC have never received any kind of preventative care or vaccines, which poses the biggest challenge to the shelter in keeping animals healthy until a live outcome is found.

PVAC staff have been trained to identify symptoms and protocol has been reviewed for distemper, an illness that typically produces thick nasal discharge, coughing and sneezing, but can be fatal or cause seizures in severe cases. Less severe cases are manageable and dogs may recover so they can be saved, however our community’s shelter is unable to currently support lifesaving treatment or quarantine.

“It’s not an epidemic or an outbreak. Distemper is endemic in the shelter and in our community,” Bricker continued. “Distemper is just like the flu, in a sense. It’s something we want to get ahead of. There is currently a higher rate of disease in the shelter than we would like, though, and these measures will allow us to reduce the disease incidence, creating a healthier environment for all the dogs in our care. Increasing the health of the population will ultimately allow us to save more lives.” He added that adoptions will continue. Only animal control activities and voluntary surrender of animals by their owners or community will be heavily impacted.

Best Friends Animal Society is deploying an experienced staff person to help support animal control officers in the field with identifying what animals need to come in and finding alternative solutions for those that don’t. Animal control officers still will bring an animal to the shelter, he added, in emergency cases, or if a stray animal poses a threat to those around it or is itself in danger. The community can help by limiting calls to Animal Control in emergency cases, such as bites or aggressive dogs.

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NEWS RELEASE

August 1, 2019

Media Contact: Michael Bricker 609-213-2665 (cell) or mike@pvactx.org

International NGO Animal Balance to Spay/Neuter Hundreds
of Cats and Dogs at Palm Valley Animal Center August 8-12.

International animal welfare NGO Animal Balance is coordinating a high volume spay/neuter event for homeless pets at the Palm Valley Animal Center prior to the nationwide Clear the Shelters adoption event on August 17, 2019. Through a grant from Best Friends Animal Society, made possible #ThanksToMaddie, and utilizing surgical facilities at the PVAC shelter in Edinburg, Texas, volunteer veterinarians, vet techs and a community-based ground team will be mobilized for this mission. Through the cooperation of Animal Balance, Best Friends and PVAC, as part of the Maddie’s® Shelter Embed Project in the Rio Grande Valley, the goal is to ready hundreds of dogs and cats for adoption between Aug. 8 -12, 2019.

Known for their international work coordinating MASH (Mobile Animal Sterilization Hospital) clinics, Animal Balance recognized an urgent need in the Palm Valley area, where spay and neuter resources are scarce. They reached out to PVAC and BFAS to determine whether their experience could be utilized to help with the shelter population in Edinburg. Short term missions like this help alleviate resource gaps by providing necessary services to animals that are currently in the shelter, while allowing more time to put long-term solutions in place. This mission dovetails with the ongoing multi-year partnership between Best Friends® and PVAC, known as the Maddie’s® Shelter Embed Project. The goal of this project is to improve shelter operations, implement a community cat program, and help take the shelter and the community to no-kill.

Animal Balance missions rely heavily on a team of volunteers who will be traveling from across Texas and the country to provide medical care to the animals by providing high quality, high volume spay/neuter surgery, monitoring them pre- and post-surgery, and performing critical tasks related to ensuring that all animals in care are safe and comfortable, that the clinic runs efficiently, and the maximum positive impact possible is made on the community and its animals.

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