Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 30, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain Views News Saturday, January 30, 2021 


LA County Veterinary Public Health (VPH) would like to make you aware of a distemper outbreak 
in wildlife in Los Angeles County. There have been 45 cases of sick or dead wildlife reported 
in the areas of Foothill communities (including Duarte, Pasadena, La Canada-Flintridge, 
La Crescenta), Baldwin Hills, San Fernando Valley and the far west valley. 

Please see the webpage detailing this outbreak here.

• 3 raccoons and 1 fox were confirmed by necropsy to have distemper.

• Suspect cases included 27 raccoons, 2 foxes, 1 coyote, and 1 skunk with symptoms

 including discharge from the eyes and nose, disorientation, and/or seizures.

• 5 raccoons and 3 foxes were tested for rabies and were negative.

Distemper is a virus that causes disease in dogs and certain wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, 
foxes, and coyotes. Distemper does not affect humans or cats. This disease can be spread between 
infected wildlife and dogs through airborne transmission and contact with shared surfaces 
(e.g. waterbowls). Common clinical signs of distemper in dogs include: fever, discharge from 
the eyes or nose, coughing, lethargy, disorientation, tremors and seizures. Currently there is no 
treatment for distemper, so preventing the disease in dogs is crucial.

 Los Angeles County veterinarians and pet owners are advised to:

• Vaccinate dogs and puppies for distemper. Puppies should

 receive a series of 3 or more distemper vaccines between the ages 

 of 2 and 4 months. The vaccine should be boostered a year later, then every three years for life.

• Protect puppies. Keep puppies at home and away from unfamiliar dogs until they have completed the vaccination series.

•Use caution when socializing dogs or in areas where dogs congregate

 such dog parks, doggy day care and boarding facilities.

• Keep dogs away from wildlife.

• Keep pet food and water indoors, away from wildlife. Pet food and water left outdoors attracts wildlife which can spread distemper to dogs.

• Report all cases of distemper in LA County to Veterinary Public Health using this reporting form.


 To stay up to date on emerging animal health issues, veterinary professionals are encouraged 
to join the Animal Health Alert Network (AHAN) to receive updates and alerts via email. To 
subscribe to the AHAN complete the online form here or fill out the form by hand and email it 


Let’s take another look 
at this amazing boy, age 
about 2. Yes, Simon is 
certainly a handsome guy! 
He probably knows it, 
because he likes to be king 
of the house and show the 
other kitties he’s boss! His 
size helps with this, because he’s a big boy. Yet, he is great 
with people when he gets to know them and likes to sit near 
them. He’s cuddly when he wants to be, and is easily held. 
His fosterers say that when Simon gets to know you he will 
sit on your lap and be petted--it may take some time, but he 
will.He has no objections to going into a carrier. Simon is 
playful, and likes the cloth birds, but he’s just as happy if you 
drop something small, like a walnut, and will happily chase 
it around until it gets lost! Simon is very healthy and has shiny, sleek fur, like a mini-panther. 
Simon has more pictures on our website’s More Cats page. 

To apply, see our Adoption Procedures page at

Pet of the Week

At thirteen years old, Tyga is a senior dog, but he’s as 
cute as any puppy! Tyga is house-trained, and good with 
people and kids. He’s calm, enjoys affection, likes playing 
with a ball, and walks well on a leash. He knows his “sit” 
command on cue, and even though they say you can’t 
teach an old dog new tricks, Tyga knows that snacks are 
a great motivator for him. Sure, puppies are cute, but this 
happy guy has an inner puppy he can’t wait to show you!

 The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptions 
include spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriate 

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-
wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as a 
goody bag filled with information about how to care for 
your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule a virtual adoption appointment at pasadenahumane.
org. Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption appointments are available every 
Sunday at 10:00 a.m. for the following week.

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phone calls 
or email.




[Nyerges is an educator and author of nearly two dozen books, including “Extreme 
Simplicity,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and others. Information on his 
classes and books is available at]

Over 20 years ago, when I was living in Highland Park, my wife and I wanted 
to get another dog as a companion for the one dog we already had. We were away from home a 
lot, and we felt that our one dog would not feel lonely and would feel content with another dog. 
We went to a lot of dog rescue places, and were starting to feel that we simply would not find the 
right dog. Finally, one night, we decided to accept a dog which seemed to have been abused, 
and which needed a good home. The dog’s name was Mona. Mona was a bit older than we were 
looking for, but she seemed very appreciative towards us as we were taking her to her new home.

We did our best to help Mona fit in, but she really was what you might call a “problem dog.” 
Initially, we attributed it to the fact that she had been abused when younger, in various ways. I 
recall the first bath I gave Mona, which actually seemed like the first bath she ever received. She 
didn’t ever like being in a bath, and I always had to struggle to keep her in the tub.

Very soon, Mona because very protective of us, and would wildly bark anytime anyone approached 
our front gate. She would throw herself against the gate with such great intensity that 
her mouth would be bleeding and people never got close to the gate. Neighbors spoke about our 
“killer dog.”

We quickly saw that Mona might not work out, and tried to find another home for her. Various 
people came and sat with Mona, trying to see if it was a good fit. But she always maintained a low 
unfriendly growl, and no one could grow close to her, and we never found her another home.

She got along well enough with our other dog, but I always felt very alert whenever I walked 
her, keeping on a harness and using two leashes so she didn’t get away and wreak havoc on the 
neighborhood. Once, a dog not on a leash approached her, despite my trying to scare the stray 
away. Mona went right for the neck of the little dog, and was only able to tear the little dog’s flexible 
skin before I could pull Mona away. I was horrified.

I continued to walk Mona and try various ways to “civilize” her. But while walking her, she 
would often snap back at me and bite me. I was bit four times, mostly superficial cuts that ripped 
my pants or shirt. I learned to be more careful when I walked her, because I realized her own 
neck skin had been cut at one time, and it probably hurt her every time I walked her with a neck 

During the time we had Mona, I lost a full-time job and by this time, we actually had three 
dogs, which means, three dogs to feed. It now became even harder to come up with the money 
to buy all the dog food, and I found sources of low-cost and even free pet food in the community. 
I knew that whatever happened, I would not take Mona to the pound, which almost certainly 
meant sure death.

Mona was always a challenge, and I always had to check my fences for weak spots because I 
always feared that if she got out and killed a neighbor’s dog, or attacked a person, the financial 
aspect alone would be devastating. Fortunately, nothing bad like that ever happened. Still, I was 
never at ease, never calm, never letting down my guard as long as we had Mona. We got so used 
to living in subdued stress and fear that we felt it was “normal.”

Eventually, Mona was displaying some obvious signs of pain and distress. I took her to our 
veterinarian. The vet told me that Mona had a certain infection, and that he could operate and 
fix the condition. Mona would cost me another $1000, but I said OK. He called me later to let 
me know that Mona died on the table, before the operation could begin. Obviously, I was sad. 
I went to pick up Mona’s body and I buried her under a fruit tree near where her doghouse had 
been. My wife and I went to bed and slept well.

The next morning, we stood in our front yard looking out into the neighborhood. There was 
no Mona. We expressed our sadness for her loss and for the hard life that she’d had. We also 
noted that suddenly, inexplicably, a deep transformation of the atmosphere had taken place. We 
noted a feeling of calm, and peace, and that we were not experiencing inner anxiety at whatever 
might happen next if Mona got out. It was an odd mixture of sadness for that being we took in, 
and simultaneously calmness, freedom, peace. We stood there for perhaps 30 minutes, basking 
in the mixed atmosphere of both sadness, and calm joy. A feeling of calm descended upon us.

I have not had that particular unique feeling for a very long time. 

The memories of Mona flooded back to me at noon, Wednesday, January 20, 2021.



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