National fight to combat killer puppy virus starts on Sunshine Coast
Dr Mark Kelman with puppy, Harry, on a quest to stamp out Parvo disease
A local puppy owner is urging dog-lovers to attend this month’s launch of a new national charity, Paws for a Purpose – headquartered on the Sunshine Coast – to stamp out the killer ‘Parvo’ disease.
Paws For A Purpose is founded by Sunshine Coast veterinarian, Dr Mark Kelman, with a focus on ‘helping pets and people in need’.
“Pets are a vital part of people’s lives and our charity’s goal is to help address the issues keeping people and pets apart – particularly for those doing it tough.
“One of our first projects is all about putting an end to Parvo disease – a devastating virus that can kill puppies in as little as 24 hours – that is especially bad in more regional and socially disadvantaged areas.
“As a veterinarian for nearly 20 years, I’ve seen the most tragic cases come through the door, with puppies suffering from diarrhea, lethargy, vomiting and septicaemia - and some dying within 24 hours. Research has found that 20,000+ Parvo cases occur annually in Australia with 10,000 deaths, many due to euthanasia as a result of the disease.
“We think that a lack of vaccination in these areas plays a significant role in cases, and that affordability and other social reasons are major contributors to the thousands of puppies dying across Australia every year from Parvo.”
“This is a major issue for all Australian pet owners, as there is evidence that Parvo is spread from these high-risk regions to the other areas. If we can stop Parvo in the high-risk areas, we can then dramatically reduce the risk of outbreaks in other areas too.
“That’s why the team is embarking upon communication-and-vaccination strategies in areas of social disadvantage where the disease is endemic,” explains Dr Kelman.
Using technology, communication, innovation and love, the group is working on changing the world for pets and people, for the better.
The launch for the charity will be held the Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club on 28 June at 6.30pm till 9.30pm and all are welcome.
The launch will be a celebration of the group’s achievements to date and include drinks, canapes, live music, and a joint talk from founder Dr Kelman and a ‘Parvo’ survivor puppy Arnold and his owner, Brodie – who will tell their heart-breaking story of having a puppy arrive home with Parvo. The charity are also launching a range of 100% Australian-beef dog treats, free of preservatives and additives with all money raised going to the cause. Everyone attending the launch gets treats to take home.
“We thank the Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club, Ace Grooming Salon, Coca-Cola Amatil and entertainment duo Alexis Sawford and Suzie Keenan for their generous support in making our launch happen.” says Dr Kelman.
Arnold’s owner Brodie agrees and urges everyone to attend the event.
“We only found out Arnold had Parvo after he’d been home with us for a few days,” said Brodie.
“It was horrific seeing our young, gorgeous puppy go through it, so I think it’s incredible we have a local charity that is trying to fight this disease one step at a time.
“I think everyone should do their bit and get down to the launch event and try out their new dog treats, as it’s all for a good cause.”
Tickets are available for a donation of $10 from www.trybooking.com/WCDT
Additional photographs and interviews available. Media contact:
Dr Mark Kelman BSc BVMS, Founder, Paws for A Purpose M: 0417 906 771
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Paws for A Purpose is a social enterprise charity selling Premium Beef Treats to raise money and awareness of their work to help pets and people in need. The treats are healthy with no preservatives or additives and 100% beef and are very popular with dogs. The number of resellers is growing rapidly and details are available on the charity’s website. www.pawsforapurpose.org