ANIMAL FIRST AID: The Santa Barbara County Red Cross is offering classes in pet CPR and first aid. “The Dog and Cat First Aid Class builds first aid skills and provides guidance in emergency situations until veterinary care is available,” states the press release. Topics covered include:

• Symptoms and care for common ailments and emergencies including seizures, strains, burns, choking, heat or cold related emergencies, and basic wound care.

• Creating a pet first-aid kit.

• How to prepare for disasters.

• Tips on maintaining your pet’s health and well-being.

• Classes include practicing techniques on dog and cat mannequins. Registration is required. Call 928-0778 for more information.

PARVOVIRUS OUTBREAK WARNING: According to a Santa Barbara County Animal Services press release, a number of dog Parvovirus cases have been reported in the northern part of S.B. County. Parvo-a serious and potentially fatal disease that tends to affect puppies more frequently than adult dogs-is a “virus that attacks the lining of the digestive system and prevents the dog from being able to properly absorb nutrients. Symptoms usually begin with a high fever, lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite. Secondary symptoms appear as severe gastrointestinal distress, including vomiting and bloody diarrhea. In many cases, dehydration, shock, or death can follow.” Unvaccinated dogs are at the highest risk. For more information regarding Parvovirus, consult your veterinarian.

BIG DOG PARADE CANCELLED: June tends to be a month when more than 1,200 canines gussy up and trot down State Street in front of more than 10,000 spectators. Unfortunately, the four-leggeds-and their bipedal companions-will not get the chance to strut their stuff this year. The 2009 Big Dog Parade has been cancelled due to the poor economy. Here’s hoping the pooches return in 2010.

ANIMAL SHELTER UPGRADES: Amid the clamor of yelping from the 80-plus prospective canine adoptees, the Santa Barbara Public Health Department’s (SBPHD) Animal Shelter celebrated the completion of its renovation project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony this month. “It’s a huge benefit for our animals and the citizens of the area we serve,” said Jan Glick, director of SBPHD Animal Services. The shelter, which houses on average 1,500 stray or abandoned dogs each year, now has brand-new kennels as well as a refurbished veterinary exam room and revamped staff and volunteer work areas. Covering the 38 kennels is a new and extended roof, providing the dogs with more protection from both the sun and rain.

SBPHD Animal Services partners with K9 Placement and Assistant League (K9-PALS), a volunteer organization that provides daily care for the county dogs and that procured half of the funding for the renovation project.

DO-IT-YOURSELF DOG WASH: No more packing those salty, wet canines into your car after a day of frolicking in the sand and surf at Arroyo Burro. Now there’s a self-serve coin-operated pet wash. Developed by Santa Barbara-based Wripples Pet Spa, it offers a big basin for washing, three kinds of shampoos, and blow dryers, among other things. Like do-it-yourself car washes, the cost depends on the amount of time used; big dogs can cost up to $12, while the little guys can get clean and shiny for somewhere in the $3 range.


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