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AHS: Time for pets to get distemper, Parvo vaccines

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Humane Society is pushing pet owners to get their animal's shots updated before the Valley heads into summer.

In 2012, AHS saw a rise in the number of animals being diagnosed with distemper and Parvo.

"Last year was kind of a banner year," said Dr. Kathleen Croteau, a Humane Society veterinarian. "More so in distemper than in the Parvo. We did see kind of a record year with this distemper virus coming around and affecting dogs of all ages."

Croteau said the virus seems to start up at this time of year, when Arizona is transitioning from cooler to warmer temperatures. The viruses will have less of an impact on animals if the Valley heats up sooner. She said the fact that it's now May, and the first cases of the virus are just showing up, is a "good sign."

The viruses usually show up first in puppies, but Croteau said owners need to make sure their dog has its shots no matter what its age is.

"It's very important for these animals to go through a series of vaccines, usually starting about six weeks of age and continuing until they're about five months of age," she said. "If it's an adult dog that hasn't received their vaccine yet, we always recommend that they get theirs first, followed up by a booster three or four weeks later."

The Arizona Humane Society has vaccination clinics every Friday. Locations, times and more information is available on the organization's website or by calling 602-997-7585.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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