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Save a Heart - Take the Heartworm Pledge

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Pledge to protect your own pet and others by recognizing the signs of heartworm and supporting treatment over euthanasia!

Canine Heartworm disease is a dangerous and life-threatening illness transmitted by mosquitos to pets in every state within the United States. Adult heartworms live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of infected pets. Untreated, heartworm can lead to lung disease, heart failure, or irreparable damage to other internal organs, and ultimately death1.

Some dogs harbor several hundred worms in their bodies. Heartworm disease can affect the dog's health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. For this reason, prevention is by far the best option, and treatment when needed should be administered as early in the course of the disease as possible2.

Unfortunately, treatment for heartworm is expensive, and can cost as much as $2,000 for one animal. In the worst cases, pets suffering from heartworm are euthanized, even though the disease is 100% avoidable.

Louisiana and Mississippi continue to be the leading states for heartworm infection3. Just 5 states in the south now account for 51% of all pet euthanasia in the country, with Louisiana having the highest rate in the U.S. And the reality for many shelters is bleak: Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter in Northern Louisiana, for example, euthanizes nearly 35% of its population, about 1,500 adoptable pets a year4.

If you are a heartworm positive dog, your chances of making it out of the shelter are virtually zero. That's why Greater Good Charities is sending Good Flights to meet shelter partners in the heavily affected state of Louisiana where they will move 2,000 animals to recipient groups to find their forever homes over the course of 12 months.

Half of those animals will be asymptomatic heartworm positive dogs. They will be pre-treated prior to transport according to American Heartworm Society (AHS) guidelines.

Greater Good Charities will cover the cost of the Good Flights and ground transport during Heartworm Awareness month, and we will supply participating shelters with:

  • Cash grants towards care which includes mentorship with the anchor shelters on diagnosis, treatment, and care of heartworm dogs in the shelter
  • Needed pharmaceutical products such as Immitcide, Heartgard, Nexgard, and doxycycline
  • In-kind animal care items such as crates, blankets, bowls, leashes, and collars Foster initiatives and support
  • Testing kits

This may mark the last summer for many dogs if they do not receive the heartworm treatment they need this year. But you can make a difference. Pledge to protect pets by understanding the signs of heartworm and sharing the importance of the Good Flights program.

Sign the pledge below and make a difference!

More on this issue:

  1. United States Food and Drug Administration (22 August 2019), "Keep the Worms Out of Your Pet's Heart! The Facts about Heartworm Disease."
  2. American Heartworm Society (2020), "Heartworm in Dogs."
  3. Christopher Rehm, DVM, American Heartworm Society (2020), "AHS Board Speaks Out - AHS Survey Finds Increase In Heartworm Cases."
  4. Bonnie Bolden, News Star (28 February 2019), "Parish shelter is drowning in puppies. Here's how to help.."
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The Pledge:

As an advocate for animals and a protector of pets, I pledge to help fight heartworm disease throughout the United States.

I pledge to protect my pet and others from heartworm disease by recognizing the signs of heartworm, having my dog tested and consulting my veterinarian as soon as these signs arise.

I pledge to share the story of Greater Good Charities sponsored Good Flights to southern regions where heartworm runs rampant in the summer.

Finally, I pledge to support treatment and adoption over euthanasia. Heartworm is a treatable disease, and I will do my best to advocate for the lives of animals who may be at risk.


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