Newsletter 3 | Dog Shelter News


Download the English PDF version here!

Download the Montenegrin PDF version here!

SOCIALISING DOGS

With the summer hot weather and most people being busy in the summer months our programme of dog walking and grooming has suffered and fallen by the wayside somewhat. I really want to get this aspect of volunteering up and running again, but ideally want more volunteers to come and help. It seems to be much easier and more rewarding when a few people can go regularly together. I have been looking at how other shelters manage similar programmes, and having set days or times to meet seems to work well. Starting this month I will be going regularly on Tuesdays and Fridays again between 11.00 and 2.00, and would love some volunteers to join me again. For those who can’t commit to regular times, I suggest an initial meeting and induction, and then to arrange with shelter staff when you will be going. Ideally we want volunteers to develop a relationship with a few dogs who will become their regular responsibility, so that we can build up a picture of the dog’s behavior and temperament, and the dog gets a chance to develop a relationship with one volunteer.

Please email me if you would like to see a copy of our volunteer guidelines.

FUNDRAISING

I have managed so far to raise 1400 euros towards a target of 4000 euros to complete the new fencing project, (detailed on the next page) and I am urgently asking for more help to complete this project. In addition with the colder weather approaching again, we need to finish plans for a safer warmer area for small orphan puppies. If anyone has any fundraising ideas please do take the initiative and go ahead to raise money, and if you need more information from me then just ask. You could follow up my previous suggestion for crowdsourcing - 20 PEOPLE TO VOLUNTEER TO FIND 20 PEOPLE, EACH TO DONATE 10 EUROS - or maybe approach individual corporate donors or small businesses with a letter or personal appeal, or hold a small fund-raising event such as a cake sale. Every little will help us reach our targets.

Special thanks to Jane Murphy for a kind and generous donation from sales of her home made jams and pickles, and donations for her post- rugby curry at the Irish Pub in Budva!

SHELTER IMPROVEMENTS

We have now finished the second phase of works for new fencing, creating a safe area for puppies and very small dogs which also provided some much needed shade and shelter form the heat over the summer. This worked well for puppies in the summer, but the next challenge is to create a warm area for small puppies in the winter months, and we will continue to fund raise for this. A porta-cabin could possibly be refurbished for this, so if anyone knows of a second hand porta-cabin unused and unwanted on a construction site anywhere then please let me know. We have also started work on a much needed double gate for the back compound, and that will be finished this month. The next urgent phase is to create a fenced corridor through the centre of the main dog compound to allow easier access for staff, visitors and volunteers to all the dogs and the puppy area. This will also improve things for the dogs by increasing the interaction that they receive, and improving their chance of fostering or adoption. We are using reinforcement panels for fencing, so please let me know if you are willing to donate a few panels or help to weld.

HAPPY ENDINGS

This is our new feature in which we plan to share stories of dogs who have been successfully re-homed, so that we can all start to believe it really is possible!

Peggy Starving, shivering, with bright red burns on her side, the dog who turned up in Virpazar was a mess, and we will never know what her story was, or what she had suffered. We couldn’t leave her on the street, and took her home. Six months later, Peggy is effectively our 4th child. An English setter, she's gentle, loving and adores our kids - a real part of the family.

Waldo Waldo Flynn was taken from the street April 2008 at Barrie Price's Roast Beef lunch. This scrawny little dog looked as though he had about 2 weeks left to live. After much debate, instigated by Richard Cowper, as to who should look after this bag of bones home, after much consideration, and a whole lot more beer, Peter decided that he's look after the dog until he got back on his paws and was ready to move on. That was 7 and a half years ago, and they haven’t looked back since!

FACTS ABOUT… COMMON DISEASES!

A stray dog on the beach near me seemed lucky recently when a Russian couple decided they could adopt him. However, sadly for him when they had his health checked by the vet he was found to be very ill with late stage leishmaniasis, and he had to be put down. This is a very common disease among stray dogs here, and until I lived here and experienced it first hand with one of my dogs I had never heard of it. So here is a very quick guide for dog owners and potential dog owners to a couple of the commonest insect borne diseases in Montenegro. . Lyme disease is a common disease caused by ticks, parasites that attach themselves to dogs, feed on blood and transmit diseases directly into the dog’s system. Your dog may not show signs of the disease until several months after infection. Symptoms include:

  • stiffness

  • lameness

  • swollen joints

  • loss of appetite

  • fever and fatigue

Canine Ehrlichiosis, found worldwide, is another common and dangerous tick-borne disease known to infect dogs. It is caused by a bacteria, and symptoms may not surface for months after transmission, and can include:

  • fever

  • loss of appetite

  • depression

  • weight loss

  • runny eyes and nose

  • nose bleeds

  • swollen limbs.

Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis can also affect humans, so if you are bitten by a tick keep an eye on the bite site and if you develop a bullseye red ring around it, which gets bigger, or if you develop flu like symptoms, nausea or confusion, then get to a doctor immediately for antibiotics.

Leishmaniasis is transmitted to dogs by a tiny sand-fly. When an infected sand-fly bites a dog, the dog is in danger of contracting the disease. Using a preventative collar such as a scalibor collar (available from the vet) between April and October will help prevent leishmaniasis. Many dogs carry the disease but show no symptoms until it has progressed to a chronic and more dangerous stage. Leishmaniasis cannot currently be cured, but it can be treated if it is diagnosed early enough, and the sooner the condition is diagnosed, the more successful the treatment is. Weak or sick dogs with poor immune systems (like street dogs) are more likely to become seriously ill. The commonest symptoms are:

  • weight loss

  • anaemia and lethargy

  • hair loss and skin lesions, particularly around the face and

  • ears

  • “dandruff” or flaky skin in the coat

  • long and thick claws

  • lameness

There is simply no way for pet owners to tell if a tick or sand-fly is carrying disease or not, and it only takes one bite to infect your dog. Symptoms can be vague and difficult to recognize, so many pet owners don’t know their dog is suffering from a debilitating disease until it’s too late. The key to curing any tick-borne disease is early diagnosis and treatment. If you are worried, your vet should be able to do some simple tests to determine if your dog has one of these diseases. Several broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat tick-borne disease are generally effective, especially in the early stages of the disease. The longer the dog has been infected, the more serious the illness is, and the more complicated the treatment. In chronic cases it may be untreatable. Prevention - Numerous products and medications to prevent ticks and sand-fly bites are available from the vet. These include drops like Frontline that you administer monthly and collars that dogs wear for the whole sand-fly season. You should also check your dog and yourself for ticks daily during tick season, mainly spring and early summer in Montenegro. The longer ticks are embedded, the more likely they are to pass on diseases. Brush your fingers through the fur, applying enough pressure to feel any small bumps. If you feel a bump, pull the fur apart to identify it. An embedded tick will vary in size, from a pinhead to a grape. Ticks are usually black or dark brown or grey when they are full. Depending on the size and location of the tick, its legs may also be visible. Check on the internet or ask your vet for advice about the method for removing ticks.

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