Meet Snoopy, the dog with leishmaniasis who was adopted and “became” CEO of a pet store in Fortaleza

8 years ago, a Snoopy puppy was found by an NGO that cares for animals in Fortaleza. The appearance and health of the dog, which was living on the streets, made it difficult for him to be adopted by a family and a home.

What Snoopy didn’t know was that after spending four years in the orphanage and being brought back twice, he would finally find a home and change the life of his adopted Carla Fabiola.

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Nubinho, as his owner calls him, is a medium-sized dog, a “Canelaudo,” as Carla likes to say. He was rescued in 2013 by the NGO VIPA, which was caring for homeless animals in the Montes neighborhood, in Fortaleza.

When she showed O POVO a photo of the moment the volunteers found Nubinho, Carla said the dog looked “almost lifeless.”

The puppy scored Snoopy when he was rescued in 2013 in the Montes neighborhood of Fortaleza. (Photo: personal archive)

Finding a home for strays is no easy task, and Snoopy, who has leishmaniasis – a non-contagious and contagious parasitic disease – has spent four years waiting for adoption. “It was adopted twice but brought back,” Carla reveals.

The businesswoman has been a freelance volunteer for nearly 15 years and says she has always helped save the wanderings. But through a post on social media she found her canine companion.

“Snoopy appeared on a friend’s post, was in a nursing home for 4 years and the house was about to close. There were approximately 30 animals at the shelter and he alone hasn’t found a family yet.” The friend encouraged Carla to adopt the pet who had been with Carla since 2017.

Before meeting Nubinho, Carla was going through a depression. “I was really bad, and my family couldn’t make me happy about anything. And when I decided to get it, it was the first time after a few months that I felt happy about something. It was a turning point in my life.”

Because of leishmaniasis, Carla felt that her dog was not treated like the others when it was taken to a pet store. Therefore, she wanted to invest in a business that is “the face of Snoopy”. That’s when Pet The Boss was born, a non-cage institution that treats animal trauma.

In the store’s Instagram profile, Nupinho is described as the CEO of the project. “The idea is that it comes with its face in. Our business model is for the animal to feel like an extension of the house,” says Carla.

The shop is only 2 months old and had a dog “approval” before opening. “Do you think there will be no quality control? I oversee every detail myself! That’s what I always say, OK, guys, if it’s not good, I don’t even do it!” Snoopy, jokingly said.

There are two types of leishmaniasis: visceral, which is also known as kala azar, which affects organs from the viscera, such as the liver and spleen, to the bone marrow. The skin (skin) can cause red skin sores. It can also present with lesions on the mucous membranes, such as the mouth and nose.

According to veterinarian and university professor at Ceará State University (Uece), Allen Maya, there is no direct transmission from dog to human. It is transmitted by the sand fly, an insect popularly known as the straw mosquito.

“Indirect transmission occurs when a pathogen is transmitted through moving or inanimate compounds. So no, the dog is not an indirect transmitter. The vet indicates that the dog is at the same point as the human in the disease development cycle.”

Read more | Fortaleza reduces cases of kala azar, but the situation in Ceará remains worrying

The disease is also not contagious, i.e. a person cannot transmit it to other people, and animals cannot transmit it to other animals.

Data from the Sierra Department of Health (CISA) shows that the number of infections among dogs has decreased over the past decade in Ceará. In 2013, 8,904 dogs were diagnosed with the disease. In 2019, 3,451 cases were registered, a decrease of 61%.

Snoopy’s teacher, Carla Fabiola, believes there is still little information available about leishmaniasis. She even remembers that close people were afraid of the animal because of the disease. “There is a huge lack of information and this means that these animals never find a home,” the businesswoman laments.

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