For this week’s Rescue Feature Friday, we are excited to showcase Pearland Parvo Recovery Center (PPRC), a nonprofit dedicated to supporting area rescues by helping dogs with parvovirus, known as parvo.
This deadly virus is highly contagious and spread through nasal or oral contamination with virus-containing feces or contaminated surfaces such as grass, sidewalks, kennels, bowls, etc. There is no cure, but treatment is provided to alleviate symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea and dehydration until the virus runs its course. PPRC works to educate the public about the importance of vaccines to prevent this virus and works with rescues and fosters on best practices to prevent the spread and provide treatment.
We interviewed founder and board president Jeanette Savage to learn more about their work #ForTheAnimals.
HPS: What is your name?
JS: Jeanette Savage
HPS: What is the name of your organization?
JS: Pearland Parvo Recovery Center
HPS: What are your organization’s mission and vision statements?
JS: Pearland Parvo Recovery Center is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that provides low-cost, high-quality treatment to dogs and puppies affected by Parvo.
- To save Parvo-positive or Parvo-exposed dogs by administering treatment and medications under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian;
- To reduce the spread of Parvo in the community by providing a centralized, quarantined treatment option for shelters and rescues;
- To reduce the financial impact of Parvo treatment on shelters and rescues by providing a volunteer-based program that is able to treat parvo at a lower cost than in a traditional veterinary hospital setting;
- To work towards the eradication of Parvo by educating the community about Parvo prevention.
HPS: When was your organization established?
JS: We began in August 2019 and the doors to the center opened in March 2020 – the same day Pearland shut for the pandemic!
HPS: How did you become involved in your organization and what’s your current role?
JS: I am president of the board and was one of six original founders. I envisioned this program after my neighbor was fostering a litter of puppies that broke with parvo. All of them died. It seemed the assumption was that most rescue puppies that get parvo will die. As someone from the human medical side, I had to ask “why?” I researched and found Austin Pets Alive! had created protocols that could save many lives. I felt there was no reason that Houston couldn’t have those available here, so we set out to make that a reality.
HPS: Do you work with your organization as a paid or volunteer, full-time or part-time member?
JS: I am a full-time volunteer.
HPS: What keeps you motivated to continue your work?
JS: The rescue community keeps me motivated. I love treating dogs, but what motivates me is the rescues that take on the challenge to try to save all these dogs. They are passionate about what they do and go to all extremes to be successful. I feel motivated to help them. The cost of treatment in a traditional veterinary setting is outside of what they can afford, so I’m glad we can help them.
HPS: What are you most proud of accomplishing?
JS: To date, we have treated 683 dogs, with five more on the way here right now. Our survival rate is between 78 and 80 percent.
HPS: What is something about your organization that the average person might not know?
JS: I’ve worked on five or six cases this year where rescues have contacted us about litters of puppies where one has parvo, but the whole litter is slated to be euthanized. In one case, there were 12 puppies. Only one had parvo but the others were going to be euthanized by noon that day. Not only do we save dogs that are sick, but we help save the ones who would be euthanized just for being exposed to parvo. We can help keep them from getting sick by getting them vaccinated and boosting their immune systems.
HPS: Describe your vision for the future of animal welfare in Greater Houston.
JS: We will continue to provide care for parvo dogs. I would like to see Houston have a facility for distemper dogs, and see the community come together to try to eradicate both of these diseases. I think Houston can do it.
Many thanks to our wonderful partner, Pearland Parvo Recovery Center, for the fantastic work you do for the Houston area.