BISSELL Pet Foundation has awarded the Houston SPCA a $20,000 “Healing Heartworm” grant that will cover the cost of treatment for 100 dogs with heartworm disease who have been rescued by the Houston SPCA and need a new home.
Through education, many potential adopters understand the disease is curable and should not be a deterrent to giving a heartworm-positive dog a loving home. Unfortunately, the high cost of treatment can be a barrier. The “Healing Heartworm” program was launched as an effort to help eliminate the obstacles by providing the much-needed funds that will cover the lifesaving treatment.
Thousands of heartworm-positive dogs enter shelters every year. Sadly, it is difficult to adopt a pet who requires expensive treatment, and the long-term stay and expense to treat the pet poses a challenge to shelters. The “Healing Heartworm” program was launched as an effort to eliminate these obstacles by providing the funds to get medication for treatment and prevention.
A Second Chance for Heartworm-Positive Dogs
“Just like any other dog, heartworm-positive dogs deserve the same chance at a new life, and that is why we are thrilled to provide much-needed resources to shelters,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “Cost and care for infected dogs can be extensive, but together with these partners, we can make a difference in the community and help these wonderful pets lead long happy lives.”
“The lifesaving medication this grant provides will not only change these special dogs’ lives for the better, but remove potential barriers, so they can get into the loving homes they so richly deserve,” said Dr. Roberta Westbrook, Chief Animal Welfare and Medical Officer at the Houston SPCA.
BISSELL Pet Foundation and Houston SPCA will also provide education to both new adopters and pet owners about heartworm disease and work to limit the risk for pets in the community. Heartworms is an easily preventable disease with monthly medication provided by a veterinarian. Dogs that are unprotected can become infected through mosquito bites, and tragically, when left untreated it can be potentially fatal.
Heartworm disease is particularly prevalent in the Gulf Coast region due to the mild year-round weather that allows mosquito populations to flourish. Any pet, especially one that spends lots of time outdoors, is susceptible without the monthly preventative since mosquitoes can bite at any time.
The “Healing Heartworm” program will begin immediately so that scores of heartworm-positive homeless dogs get a chance at a new life while they recover from this very preventable disease. Houston SPCA will begin to identify heartworm-positive dogs in its care that would be suitable for the program. With the help of medical intervention, the dogs are expected to fully recover.
For more information about the “Healing Heartworm” program with BISSELL Pet Foundation, please visit www.bissellpetfoundation.org.