Francine. (photo submitted)

Archived Story

The deadly heartworm

Published 7:22pm Thursday, October 4, 2012

When I set up Lennie’s Fund at the Foothills Humane Society, it was for animals who needed urgent care. As you’re well aware, a variety of injuries and ailments have

Tyrion. (photo submitted)

been treated over the years, but the fund’s main purpose was to battle heartworm disease.
Countless animals suffered with this malady and in many cases it hindered their adoptability. Moreover, the longer they stayed at the shelter the more dangerous the disease became and this scenario tore at my heart.  Many wonderful people adopted these dogs anyway, but far too many slipped through the cracks.
Today Lennie’s Fund pays for those who go to rescues and some who are adopted when assistance is needed. We now have a program that begins treatment as soon as heartworm is detected. In a few cases the disease has been eradicated; in others we’ve learned the severity and most importantly they are not getting worse.
Understand that these treatments are not mandatory to our charter but we at FHS take the humane part very seriously and many sacrifices have been made on the animals behalf. The cost of this program is astronomical and Lennie’s Fund could never keep up, though I intend to do as much as I can for as long as I can.
A new fund has been set up in honor of a fabulous dog called Champ. This fund will be aimed specifically at our heartworm program among other things. I had the privilege of knowing this wonderful boy and I am more than certain he would approve. After all, for Champ, therapy was his calling.
To emphasize the magnitude of what we face I will list the animals currently on the program.  Some are at the shelter, some are in foster and some (thank God) are in foster to adopt: Amber, Goodie, Bloke, Snowshoe, Lexi, Gleason, Yotie, Wooley, Trooper, Macy, Ethal, Norman, Tessa, Dessy, Trevor, Ricky, Madelena, Francine, Duchess, Truffle, Tyrion, Loretta, Gena and Lola. Tyrion and Francine are depicted in the photos.
Should this program falter I’d hate to be the person who must choose which animal can no longer receive treatment. For me, every one is a life worth saving.  God bless you all and thanks for listening.

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