Donations needed to treat heartworm-positive dogs

Special to Gannett

Santa Rosa County Animal Services has 15 heartworm-positive dogs in their care, with five finishing up treatment and 10 more in need of medication.

Heartworm disease is very common in the region, as it is spread by mosquitoes. Fortunately, it is completely preventable with regular medication. 

Foster coordinator Jennifer Arn takes an English Pointer named Chestnut for a walk at Santa Rosa County Animal Services in Milton on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.

On average, heartworm treatment costs $150 per animal through the shelter, without consideration of food and other supplies during that time.

Treating this disease in the shelter environment is difficult because it requires frequent treatment, and can take dogs two to three months to recover. Santa Rosa County Animal Services is asking for donations of $200 per dog to cover the cost of medication and care during the treatment process. 

The shelter's goal is to raise $2,000 for the 10 dogs still needing treatment, but each dollar raised above this amount will go toward future medical needs. 

To view all heartworm positive dogs and donate to their treatment, visit www.santarosa.fl.gov/heartwormtreatment. For donations of a specific amount, please donate by cash or check in person or by mail at 4451 Pine Forest Road, Milton FL 32583.

Foster Program: 

Infected dogs require almost complete bed rest during treatment and recovery, so the shelter relies on foster homes to care for these dogs during that time. Currently, most of these dogs are in need of a foster home, but can also be fostered-to-adopt. The shelter supplies all pet food and supplies to foster homes as available. To foster a heartworm-positive dog, fill out an application on the Foster Program webpage.