March 2019 by Dr. Nipuni Ratnayaka, Dr. Ellen Jefferson and Jordana Moerbe
Audience: Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team
Video Length: 44 minutes
Distemper is Not a Death Sentence
Join this session to learn about the process that Austin Pets Alive! developed to combat distemper without hoarding or culling them. Learn how your community can implement this no-kill best practice to start saving the lives of dogs with this disease and prevent it in the first place. This presentation was recorded by Maddie's Fund® at the 2019 American Pets Alive! Conference.
About Nipuni Ratnayaka, DVM
Dr. Nipuni Ratnayaka is the Maddie's® Lifesaving Academy Veterinarian at Austin Pets Alive!. She attended the University of Texas at Austin for undergrad and earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her involvement with APA! began in 2010 as a volunteer in the Parvo ICU Program and she soon became the program's manager. Her passion for shelter medicine grew while in this role, and she returned to APA! in 2018 as a veterinarian. Her fur babies include her cat Sashimi, parvo-survivor Timber, and paralyzed foster cat Sunny.
About Ellen Jefferson, DVM
Dr. Jefferson graduated veterinary school in 1997 and started her career in private practice. In 1999, in response to an 85% death rate at the city shelter, she started EmanciPET, a low cost and free spay/neuter clinic in an effort to decrease the number of homeless animals. In 2008, still not satisfied with how fast the city of Austin was moving towards no-kill status, she stepped in as Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive! Since 2008, Austin Pets Alive! has been the driving force to bring the entire city of Austin to a greater than 90% save rate and the largest no-kill city in the US, and to redefine what no-kill means, as Austin's save rate now approaches 98%. Dr. Jefferson was unanimously chosen as the first recipient of the Avanzino Leadership award, named for the father of no-kill and given for her outstanding contribution to the no-kill movement.
About Jordana Moerbe
Jordana Moerbe moved to Austin from El Paso, Texas in 2002. She began her professional career in animal lifesaving at the low cost spay/neuter clinic, Emancipet. In 2009, she was offered a tech position with APA!, where she worked directly under Dr. Ellen Jefferson and helped build what is now the APA! Medical Clinic. Today, the medical clinic has the capacity to treat upwards of 100+ medical cases at any given time as well as support the Parvo Puppy ICU, neonatal ICU, feline leukemia ward, and the ringworm ward.