These Young Shelter Pups Have Heartworm Disease. In Louisiana, That Means Slim Odds Of Survival

Cronus, Maz, and Poseidon are all young, happy shelter dogs seeking a forever home. Cronus is an energetic goofball who loves to cuddle, play, and shadow his humans. Maz is an affectionate 2.5-year-old terrier mix who charms everyone she meets with big puppy dog eyes. Similarly, 3-year-old Poseidon is a calm, gentle giant with lots of love to give.

But these sweet, affectionate pups all have one tragic thing in common – heartworm disease, a mosquito-borne illness that often proves fatal for shelter dogs.

Maz is an affectionate dog who just wants to have fun and be with her people. Photo: Acadiana Animal Aid

This isn’t because heartworm, although typically fatal without treatment, can’t be treated with medication. Rather, Louisiana shelters are so overcrowded and underfunded that workers are forced to euthanize the heartworm positive (but otherwise healthy) dogs in their care.

Fortunately, Cronus, Maz, and Poseidon were rescued by Acadiana Animal Aid (AAA), a non-profit rescue that saves at-risk dogs from shelters around Louisiana, where heartworm-positive dogs have a slim chance of survival. Now the Lafayette, LA, rescue is partnering with The Animal Rescue Site, Greater Good Charities, and Boehringer Ingelheim, the maker of HEARTGARD® Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel), to fly these heartworm positive shelters dogs to safety this April during Heartworm Awareness Month.

Gentle giant Poseidon was picked up as a stray. Photo: Acadiana Animal Aid

On April 19 and 20, Cronus, Maz, and Poseidon will board one of our first 3 Save a Heart flights, which will depart from New Orleans and Lafayette, LA, with 120 at-risk shelter dogs on board.

These inaugural rescue flights — which are being conducted within Greater Good’s Good Flights program — will touch down in Morriston, NJ, and Fort Lauderdale, FL, where the dogs will be transferred to local shelters with space and capacity to provide them with heartworm treatment.

But our Save A heart flights won’t end in May just because Heartworm Awareness Month is over. This life-saving partnership will transport 1,000 heartworm-positive dogs (who are asymptomatic and thus safe to fly) to safety and treatment over the course of one year.

Photo: Greater Good Charities

OurSave a Heart air and ground transports, which will depart 2-3 times a month through April 2022, will also include equal numbers of heartworm negative shelter dogs — thus rescuing another 1,000 heartworm-negative (but equally at-risk) shelter dogs.

In addition to transporting 2,000 at-risk shelter dogs to safety on the East Coast, Save a Heart will help protect another 2,500 Louisiana shelter dogs by providing them with preventative heartworm treatment. All heartworm medication will be generously sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Rescuers described Cronus, “King of the Titans,” as a sturdy boy committed to winning your love. Photo: Acadiana Animal Aid

But we need your help flying all these heartworm-positive shelter dogs to safety during Heartworm Awareness Month!

Can you make a donation to help Cronus, Maz, and Poseidon board their freedom flights? Every $25 helps us fund 625 air miles for a shelter dog flying aboard our Save a Heart mission, but donations of any amount can help us prevent heartworm-positive shelter dogs from being put down just because euthanasia is cheaper than treatment.

Learn more about Save a Heart below!

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