A new program, “All Hearts, No Worms” is underway at Collier County’s Domestic Animal Services (DAS) to treat and then find homes for adoptable, heartworm-positive dogs. DAS will fund heartworm treatment medication from the Donation Trust Fund, allowing the public to adopt and affordably treat their new pets at home. DAS is currently negotiating reduced prices for the administration of the heartworm treatment with local veterinarians. “This community partnership is giving these dogs a second chance at life, while minimizing the cost to the adopter,” said Amanda Townsend, DAS Director.
Heartworms are a great threat to all dogs. It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to give a dog heartworms. Preventative heartworm medication is essential to a dog’s good health. “To leave your dog unprotected is a big gamble,” Townsend added. “Not only will your pet suffer physically and you emotionally, but your finances will suffer as well.”
Heartworm treatment is costly and requires a quiet, calm environment. This is why the shelter environment is not ideal for treatment. A heartworm positive dog undergoing treatment must not exceed its resting heart rate. If a dog becomes excited during treatment, the results could be fatal.
Eligible candidates for this program will have an “All Hearts, No Worms” sign on their kennel. Once the dog is adopted, DAS staff will coordinate treatment details with the adopter and their veterinarian. If the adopter is a first time pet owner, DAS staff will refer them to a veterinarian participating in the “All Hearts, No Worms” program. Heartworm information is available in the DAS shelter lobby.
For more information, call Daniel Christenbury, Public Information Specialist, at 252-6956 or 252-PETS.