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Tag Archive | "Bellowood"

Bellowood gets grant to vaccinate dogs for influenza

Bellowood, a small dog rescue in Cedar Springs, now has help in protecting dogs against canine influenza virus (CIV), a highly contagious disease that spreads easily from dog to dog, especially those in close proximity. The shelter received a grant for the vaccines as part of a Petfinder.com Foundation program to build community immunity against this respiratory infection. The foundation partnered with Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, a global animal health company and makers of the NOBIVAC(r) Canine Flu H3N8 vaccine, to fund the grant.

Because CIV is relatively new, most dogs have not built up immunity to the disease. Dogs can get the disease by being exposed to those that have it, as well as playing with toys or drinking from bowls used by other dogs. People can also unwittingly spread the germ if they come in contact with infected dogs.

“Shelters and rescue organizations are often the first places that new diseases already in the community become evident. Dogs come in from the community and are released back into it, and often move to and from states with confirmed cases,” said Liz Neuschatz, director of the Petfinder.com Foundation. “Canine flu can be a real problem for shelters, where one sick dog can cause an outbreak through an entire facility. We are pleased to be part of this effort to help protect the community by providing canine flu vaccine to Bellowood.”

Kim Schreuder, owner of Bellowood, was grateful to get the grant. “I think it’s a fantastic way to keep dog influenza under control,” she said.

The dog rescue received 172 doses of the vaccine, worth $1,548. Each dog receives two doses, which means they received enough to vaccinate 86 dogs. They have already vaccinated 10. Schreuder noted that they have not experienced this flu yet at Bellowood, and she is glad the vaccine is out there to prevent it.

Dog flu is a growing problem throughout the U.S. It has been confirmed in 35 states so far, but tracking the disease is hard because it is so difficult to diagnose. Dogs are contagious before they show any symptoms. By the time the dog starts coughing, it’s too late. Virtually all dogs exposed to the virus will become infected, and some will get more serious infections, such as pneumonia, which can be fatal.  Dogs that go to doggie daycare, boarding facilities, groomers and shows and are vaccinated for canine cough (Bordetella) are also at risk for canine flu.  Information about canine flu is available at www.doginfluenza.com.

The grant for Building Community Immunity seeks to protect all at-risk dogs in the community, including those in close proximity with other dogs, as is the case with shelters and rescue facilities. It also provides greater assurance to adopting families that their new pets will be healthier and much less likely to be sick or get more serious, and sometimes fatal, infections. The grant further links Petfinder.com member shelter and rescue grant recipients with local veterinarians to protect all adoptable dogs in their care. The program promotes veterinary visits for wellness exams and, when appropriate, the second dose administration of Nobivac Canine Flu vaccine.

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Paying it forward

McKenzie Noga and the supplies she raised for Bellowood dog rescue in the “pay it forward” challenge.

Local dog rescue benefits from 10-year-old’s love of animals

By Judy Reed

It’s amazing what someone can do with $2 in seed money. Just ask Lisa Falcinelli, a fourth-grade teacher at Cedar View.
In conjunction with Martin Luther King Day, Falcinelli gave the 28 children in her class $2 in seed money and challenged them to find something they were passionate about and make a difference, the way King did.
Falcinelli said the children thought both globally and locally. One child collected gently used teddy bears and sent them to children in Haiti, and used the $2 for postage. Another collected supplies for people in the military going overseas. Another shoveled driveways to raise money for a friend in need.

McKenzie Noga and Kim Schreuder of Bellowood Dog Rescue.

“It was amazing to see the things they did,” remarked Falcinelli, “especially McKenzie. The magnitude of what she was able to do with $2 was incredible.”
That student is McKenzie Noga, 10, daughter of Tim and Angie Noga of Cedar Springs. Being an animal lover, she knew she wanted to do something with animals. “We started asking around, and put it out there on Facebook,” explained Tim. “And someone suggested Bellowood. It turns out they are right down the road from us.”
Bellowood, owned by Kim Schreuder, is an organization dedicated to bettering the lives of abandoned, abused, and unwanted dogs from all over the country, with a focus on dogs in our own community. They provide medical care, training, evaluations, and rehabilitation to our canine friends who have suffered and been left homeless.
Knowing this would be a good organization to help, McKenzie began getting donations of food and other pet supplies from people and businesses around the area. And on Sunday, February 6, she and her parents and her teacher delivered $75 worth of supplies to Bellowood.
“It was amazing,” said Schreuder, who was touched by McKenzie’s thoughtfulness, and her initiative. “I’m so tickled by this experience!”
McKenzie was excited, too. “I got to help worm some of the puppies,” she explained. She also hopes to go back to help out.
At the end of the visit, McKenzie gave Schreuder an envelope with the original $2 in it and asked her to pay it forward.
“Bellowood plans to pay it forward in the same way by collecting things for—what better? A cat rescue!” remarked Schreuder. She said they chose Reuben’s Room in Grand Rapids as the one that is most in need.
McKenzie had a word of advice for those who might want to try paying it forward. “Try it once. You can make a difference in the world,” she said.

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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