Multum in parvo.
That’s Latin for “much in little,” and it’s a term often used to describe pugs — big personalities in small, smush-faced packages that many of us humans seem to find endearing, despite their penchant for snoring and snarfling with each breath.
As a result many shelters see an influx of surrendered and abandoned pugs in summer.
In the Mid-Atlantic states, when public animal shelters (often high-kill animal control facilities with 48 hour euthanasia policies) get a pug into their custody, they call Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue (MAPR), an organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and forever home placement of mistreated, abused and abandoned members of the breed.
The reasons people give for giving up their pugs vary. Sometimes they’re frustrated by the health issues, and lack the knowledge and resources to handle them. Sometimes pet owners hit financially rocky times, lose their homes and feel they can no longer take care of their dog. Sometimes the reasons are even more complex.
To understand the rescue/rehabilitation/placement process a bit better, let’s use the example of Stewie (left), a pug that was surrendered by his mom to a local animal control facility in a remote Maryland county.
She explained to shelter workers that she was surrendering Stewie to keep him safe, since every time her husband got mad at her he beat Stewie. Stewie was undernourished (most likely not eating out of fear and anxiety), potentially suffering from internal injuries, and was deathly afraid of all humans.
With a dedicated band of volunteers up and down the east coast, MAPR immediately turned to email blasts and social media to coordinate a pickup by vounteers from this far-away county. Meanwhile, other volunteers were working behind the scenes to arrange a foster home, veterinary care, behavioral help, and any other resources necessary to ensure that Stewie could enter into a stable living situation while awaiting adoption into his forever home.
Within 24 hours, a foster home in North Carolina with the behavioral know-how to deal with Stewie’s fear, an additional behavioral specialist to do more intensive training, and a vet all willing to take on his case were secured. After that, it was back to the social media and email blasts to arrange transport. Less than 48 hours later, Stewie was on his way to his new beginning, as five volunteers donated their time (and gas money) to relay Stewie on the 500-plus mile trip.
Even then, the work was only halfway done. Other volunteers perused adoption applications to see if any potential homes that had already been approved would give Stewie the environment he needed to thrive once he’s been rehabilitated by our trainers and foster family. Other volunteers made home visits and phone calls to check the references of potential adopters — those with a soft spot for that multum in parvo personality.
Why all this rigamarole? Why the FBI-esque background check? The answer is simple. We at MAPR are dedicated to placing every single pug in a home that will last them forever. We want to ensure that every pug that comes through our rescue goes to a home that will provide the highest quality of care and love possible. We want to prevent the Stewies of the world from ever having to suffer or be afraid of humans again.
MAPR has coordinated the placement of over 60 pugs in six states (Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina) in the last 30 days alone.
However, as of July 21st, 2011, the Stewies of the world will just have to wait.
Due to extenuating circumstances — chief among them, shrinking resources — MAPR has had to close their doors to all intakes until further notice. Our foster homes are overflowing, and our resources for vet care are rapidly dwindling.
Due to the recession, more and more dogs are deteriorating with preventable health conditions like heartworm disease. By the time they come into our care, the cost to stabilize them medically is in thousands of dollars.
Adoption fees offset some of that. MAPR charges adoption fees of $400 for a pug under six months, $250-$350 for pugs between 7 months and 10 years old and $100 for a pug over the age of 10. Sometimes that covers some vet expenses — updated shots, wellness checkups and the like. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Take Honey Bun (left), who came from West Virginia, where she was forcefully bred for ten years every heat cycle. While each of her puppies fetched between $500-$1,000 apiece, her owners kept her in an outdoor pen year-round and couldn’t be bothered with providing her with heartworm preventative.
When she arrived, in addition to some serious man-hating behaviors, she had such a severe case of heartworms it necessitated a series of medications being injected directly into her spine. Even with a phenomenal network of vets who give us great rates on care, her treatment costs were upwards of $2,000.
That’s why we rely on our “pug angels” – those who donate anything they can for the care and treatment of our foster pugs. MAPR has seen a severe decline in donations.
Not every case is as severe as Stewie’s, or necessitates the extensive treatment that Honey Bun required. Take my current foster pug, Cosmo (left). He’s a 3-year-old ball of energy that was simply too much for his aging mom to handle.
Many times, owners who just cannot care for their pugs will turn to MAPR instead of taking them to the local shelter in hopes they can avoid euthanasia. Cosmo is in perfect health, has a great disposition, is fully housebroken, and will most likely be a quick adoption.
I work with MAPR because I believe that the Stewies, the Honey Buns, and the Cosmos deserve a second chance at a good home that will love them forever. This is why I asked my good friend John if I could write a piece for ohmidog! I’m hoping to find like-minded people in the mid-Atlantic region that would like to donate their time and energy as a foster or volunteer.
Equally beneficial would be like-minded people in any part of the country or world that would like to be a “pug angel” for any of our foster pugs. On our website, you can apply to volunteer, or click on that donate button! You can find us on Facebook, too.
If you know people who have pugs, or like pugs, or have ever mentioned a pug, tell them about us too. The pugs thank you!
LaRee McCuan, a volunteer with Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue, lives in Baltimore, where she completed her Masters of Social Work degree this year at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Her forever pug, Mikey, who recently became a therapy dog with Karma Dogs, is pictured atop this post.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandonment, abuse, adopt, adoption, animals, brachycephalic, breathing, breeds, cosmo, difficulties, dog, dogs, donate, economy, forever homes, foster, homes, honey bun, laree mccuan, mapr, mid atlantic pug rescue, multum in parvo, neglect, pets, pug, pug angels, pugs, rescue, respiratory, shelters, stewie, summer, surrender, volunteer
The airline Monday banned the brachycephalic breeds from air travel because of the risks of breathing problems and overheating.
The ban covers pugs, bulldogs and boxers, and several breeds of cats, including Himalayan, Persian and exotic short-hair cats, CNN’s Business 360 blog reports.
Cathay Pacific’s ban follows similar moves by Singapore Airlines and several American carriers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation released figures last year showing about half of all in flight deaths in the previous five years were short-snouted breeds, with English bulldogs accounting for nearly a quarter of those deaths.
“The ban is to bring Cathay Pacific into line with industry practice because it has been found that there is quite a bit of danger,” said Thomas Lau, Cathay Pacific’s assistant manager of public affairs.
Hong Kong’s Society for the Protection of Animals (SPCA) believes that the ban is an over-reaction.
“… There are cases when air travel is unavoidable, especially when owners need to emigrate,” said Rebecca Ngan, communications manager of SPCA Hong Kong. “If owners cannot send them in the cabin they may have to abandon them or put them to sleep.”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, air travel, airlines, american airlines, bans, brachycephalic, breathing, breeds, cathay pacific, cats, dogs, english bulldogs, flat-faced, himalayan, hong kong, overheating, persian, pets, restrictions, short, singapore airlines, snouts, spca, travel, traveling with dogs, traveling with pets