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Nonprofit Goes RVing to Promote Pet and Human Health
Date:6/15/2009

The Companion Animal Parasite Council heads West, driving home the importance of year-round parasite prevention to protect pets and people

BEL AIR, Md., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Temperate climates, high pet populations and a regional love of the outdoors make the Western United States an ideal location for the upcoming second annual Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) Education Road Show, June 27 - July 11.

During eight stops in four states - Colorado, California, Oregon and Washington - parasitologists and veterinarians with the nonprofit CAPC (www.petsandparasites.org) will educate pet owners and families about zoonotic diseases, also known as parasitic diseases that are transmitted from pets to people, and how to prevent them. The key to prevention, experts say, is year-round parasite protection for dogs and cats.

Parasites a growing problem in the West

"There are parasites and zoonotic disease, sometimes a higher-than-expected incidence, in every Western city on our Road Show schedule," said Michael Paul, DVM, executive director of the CAPC. "Parasites can be found in all 50 states, every day of the year, regardless of the weather."

Heartworm and other common parasitic diseases were virtually non-existent in the West 50 years ago. Now, these diseases are spreading rapidly due to a changing landscape and influx of people from different parts of the country. With increasing acreage under irrigation, climates are less arid. And, more moisture means more parasites.

Another reason that parasites and the diseases they carry are on the rise in the West is because large numbers of people - and their pets - continue to relocate to this part of the United States, known as a desirable place to live. Many of these new residents bring with them dogs and cats that already have parasites.

The CAPC recommends that pet owners use easy-to-administer preventive medicines year-round to control internal and external parasites - such as roundworms, heartworms, fleas and ticks for the life of their dog or cat, no matter where they live.

"If you prevent parasitic infections in companion animals, you greatly reduce the chances of zoonotic transmission to people," said Paul.

The CAPC Road Show

The CAPC is touring the West in a 33-foot-long RV wrapped in vivid images of children with dogs and cats to drive home the point that pet owners should administer year-round parasite preventives, because parasites pose potential risk in every geographic region of the country. The vehicle will make stops in eight cities, with free events open to the public in each:

  • Denver at Denver Dumb Friends League, an animal welfare nonprofit, on Saturday, June 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. People and their pets are welcome at "Ask-a-Vet" and "Ask-a-Pet-Expert" booths. Pet adoption opportunities and free prize giveaways, including iPods, will also be featured.
  • San Diego at the PetCo Park Dog Park on Wednesday, July 1, where veterinarians will be available to answer questions and pet owners can win free prizes such as iPods. Pets and humans are invited to attend anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • In Long Beach, Calif., a CAPC "Ask-a-Vet" event will be held at the Long Beach Dog Park from noon to 5:30 p.m., on Friday, July 3.
  • In San Francisco, the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Maddie Center will host the CAPC parasite education event, which will include iPod giveaways. CAPC experts will answer questions from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.
  • Another San Francisco "Ask-a-Vet" event, complete with iPod giveaways, will be held at Justin Herman Plaza from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, July 6.
  • In Sacramento, Calif., CAPC experts will be on hand at I Street in Old Sacramento from noon to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 7.
  • In Eugene, OR, the CAPC will host another "Ask-a-Pet-Expert" event on Thursday, July 9, at Alton Baker Park from noon to 4 p.m. Don't forget to register to win a free iPod!
  • The Road Show will wrap up in Seattle on Saturday, July 11, at Pike Place Market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The CAPC will distribute information about parasites, parasite control and how to prevent zoonotic disease at all of the events. The complete 2009 CAPC Road Show schedule and more information can be found at www.petsandparasites.org.

About the CAPC

The nonprofit CAPC (www.petsandparasites.org) is an independent council of veterinarians and other animal health care professionals established to foster animal and human health, while preserving the human-animal bond, through recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and control of parasitic infections. The CAPC brings together broad expertise in parasitology, internal medicine, public health, veterinary law, private practice and association leadership.

    For more information, contact:
    Robyn Caulfield at (913) 663-4200 or
    Robyn@bcsthinktank.com


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SOURCE Companion Animal Parasite Council
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