Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Local veterinarian honoured for PED intervention

As posted on the Stratford Gazette, February 25, 2015.

By Jeff Heuchert

Click graphic to enlarge.

A Stratford veterinarian was honoured last month with an industry award for his ongoing contributions to helping contain and prevent the spread of the PED (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea) virus in Canada.

Doug MacDougald received the Outstanding Veterinarian Award on Jan. 30 during the 2015 Ontario Veterinary Medical Association Conference and Trade Show in Toronto.

The PED virus does not affect food safety and poses no risk to human health, but kills close to 100 per cent of piglets that are infected.

MacDougald, who practices at South West Ontario Veterinary Services, was part of an investigative team that identified biosecurity gaps in the PED crisis, conducted surveillance, and developed strategies to prevent the rapid spread that ravaged the swine population in the United States, where more than eight million piglets have been killed from the virus since 2013.

Since January 2014 there have been a little more than 70 confirmed PED cases in Canada. But new confirmations are becoming less frequent.

MacDougald says the declining instances of PED north of the border is a direct reflection of industry stakeholders – from swine organizations to service companies to producers to private veterinarians – coming together and working cooperatively since day one.

“It’s a great success story for Ontario and Canada,” he says. “There’s been an unprecedented level of collaboration … to address this risk.”

The PED virus has been contained and many of the initial cases from last winter have now been eliminated, MacDougald adds, noting this season has seen a small number of new cases, between 10-12, crop up.

As chair of the Ontario Swine Health Advisory Board, MacDougald was at the forefront of Canada’s response to the PED outbreak in the US. He says a major breakthrough came when it was discovered that the virus came into Canada through contaminated feed that originated from the US. From there, the focus turned to promoting practices that minimize the spread, particularly around transportation.

“Our focus is to continue to contain and to eliminate (the virus) on each individual site,” MacDougald says. “And still targeting to get all the parameters in place so that we can potentially eliminate this from the country.”
MacDougald’s award not only reflects his work in the swine industry but also his humanitarian efforts.

Since 2007 MacDougald has been a volunteer with the charity Sleeping Children Around the World. He’s visited developing countries in Asia or Africa every year since but one, and this April he will set off again, this time for Togo in West Africa to distribute 4,000 bed kits to poor children.

MacDougald says the excursions help give him perspective, particularly last year when he went to distribute bed kits after months of intensive work around PED containment.

For his contributions with Sleeping Children MacDougald received the Stratford-Perth YMCA Peace Medal in 2011.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Liftlock Aktion Club helps those who need a hug

As posted by the Peterborough Examiner, February 23, 2015.

By Dale Clifford, Peterborough Examiner

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The Kiwanis Liftlock Aktion Club continues to give Teddy Bears to children or anyone who needs a hug.

In their 10th year, they will donate 70 of the furry little creatures to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre this Thursday and to local police on March 26.

The Peterborough Kiwanis Club and the Kiwanis Club of Scott's Plains co- sponsor the Aktion Club which is in partnership with Community Living Peterborough. It allows adults living with disabilities an opportunity to develop initiative and leadership skills, serve the community, be integrated into society and demonstrate the dignity and value of citizens living with disabilities. Members of these former clubs act as advisors to the members of Liftlock club who elect their own club executives.

The club, which meets bi- monthly, holds an annual Bowl -a -Thon and the funds they raise are used to purchase new Teddy Bears (usually from an outlet in Toronto) which are donated to various agencies to distribute as they see the need. They have also distributed bears to such groups as the Peterborough Fire Department, Hospital Emergency, EMS and the Canadian Cancer Society.

“This has meant so much because it has been giving back to the community,’’ said Lenora Blackmore, with the Peterborough Kiwanis Club and an advisor with the Aktion group. “It provides a service. It has been wonderful to see. If someone is in a situation where they need a hug, it is good to give one. It is better to give than to receive. That is what it has meant to me.’’

The group has scheduled another Teddy Bear Bowl-a-Thon fundraiser for the spring but no date has been set yet.

While Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 in Detroit, it truly became international the following year when a club was formed in Hamilton. Its motto was Serving the Children of the World , One Community at a Time.

The Peterborough Kiwanis Club was created in November of 1921 and the Kiwanis Club of Scott's Plains was established in Peterborough in 1974.

The Aktion segment of the organization is much younger, having been born in Florida in 1987. It soon spread throughout the Florida area and then, by world-of-mouth, throughout the Kiwanis world.

Aktion Club became an official Service Leadership Program of Kiwanis International on Oct. 1, 2000 and today there are also clubs in the Barbados, Malaysia, Jamaica, Bahamas, Philippines and Australia.

More than 12,000 adults with disabilities around the world are involved in this Kiwanis-family program, developing leadership skills while working with others to help those in need. Their projects range from fundraising for Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW) to recycling drives to cleaning up parks.

Its mandate is to empower members to be themselves, work together with friends and implement plans through action. Aktion clubs can also be established at churches, libraries, YMCAs, lodges or similar facilities. A Kiwanis club, composed of like-minded, service-oriented people from the community, serves as the club’s sponsor. The current club has 24 members.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stratford veterinarian Doug MacDougald receives Outstanding Veterinarian Award from Ontario Veterinary Medical Association at Toronto conference

As published by the Stratford Beacon Herald, February 19, 2015.

By Mike Beitz, The Beacon Herald.

Doug MacDougald’s significant contributions to the swine industry have earned him a prestigious award from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA).

The local vet, who practises with South West Ontario Veterinary Services in Stratford, recently received the Outstanding Veterinarian Award from the OVMA at its annual conference in Toronto.

“It’s always nice to be honoured by your peers,” said MacDougald Wednesday.

He was nominated for the award specifically for his dedication to the swine industry, and the key role he played in addressing porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED), a disease that has killed millions of piglets in the U.S. but is largely contained in Canada.

MacDougald and his fellow veterinarians have been working together, sharing information and taking a proactive approach in an effort to stamp out PED in the province.

The award acknowledges that teamwork, suggested MacDougald, who is also a founding member and current chair of the Ontario Swine Health Advisory Board.

“I think it recognizes the collaborative effort the entire swine industry has done with our approach to disease control and PED,” he said.

The approach appears to be working.

Almost all of the cases of PED that occurred last winter and spring have been eliminated, said MacDougald, and there have been “a relatively small number of cases” since the fall.

Cold weather increases the risk of PED being spread.

“It has not been – and is not running through – the industry like it did last year in the U.S.,” he said, “so it’s a great success story.”

MacDougald said he shares the Outstanding Veterinarian award with his colleagues.

“This recognition is a nod to our South West practice, and all the vets and staff that really have been phenomenally collaborative and supportive of all of the efforts we’ve taken with this industry.”

The award also recognizes MacDougald’s work in the community, as well as his involvement with the Canadian-based charity Sleeping Children Around the World.

In April, he will be heading to Togo in West Africa with that charity to lead a team of volunteers that will distribute mosquito nets, bed kits and other basic supplies to children from impoverished families.​

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dryden brings message of generosity, compassion to Trinity United Church

As published in the Listowel Banner, February 11, 2015.

Click to enlarge graphic.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dave Dryden in Listowel To Support Sleeping Children Around the World

As posted by Blackburn News, February 9, 2015

By Blackburn News

The Sleeping Children Around The World charity had its’ chair, former NHL goalie Dave Dryden, in Listowel at Trinity United Church on Sunday.

Dryden explained the goal of the charity is sending custom bed kits to poverty-stricken countries world-wide.

Dryden highlighted some of the 9 current countries they service, including Uganda and Honduras, and about the impact it has in those areas.

“Over the course of the years we’ve actually gone to 33 different countries,” he says, “but right now the nine that we are with, we visit once a year. You talk to especially the teachers and the parents and you realize they are really having an impact on the children.”

For more info on Sleeping Children Around The World, including all the countries they deliver to, or to make a donation of $35 for a bedkit, visit

By: Ryan Drury

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Children get free bed kits

As posted by The Hindu, Chennai, India, February 5, 2015.

By Staff Reporter

Children living on pavements have a good Samaritan in Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW). The NGO based in Canada, in association with Rotary Club of Ambattur, distributed bed kits to children from three schools in the city.

Sidney Frank, consul general of Canada, to mark the distribution of one lakh bed kits, felicitated Judy Dryden, daughter of Murray Dryden founder of SCAW, at a felicifunction organised by the club on Wednesday.

Yadav Murti Sankaran, president of the club, said it had been associated with SCAW for 29 years. This year, bed kits were distributed to beneficiaries in various parts of the State including Theni, Yercaud, Vellore and Tiruchi. The kits contain a bed spread, a quilt, bed sheets, towels, pillow, raincoat and school bag.