Last night we attended the 2nd Annual Holiday Hope for Hearts fundraiser which benefits heartworm positive dogs at Cleveland Animal Care & Control (CACC). Through their partnership with Friends of the Cleveland Kennel, the ‘Plankton Fund’ was created to address the continuous need to assist heartworm positive dogs that find themselves at the city kennel. Plankton was a dog that CACC was unable to save from his severe heartworm and passed. The fund was named in his honor in hopes that his memory will inspire people to help other heartworm positive dogs by making financial donations. Heartworm is a treatable disease but requires months of care and can cost anywhere from $600 – $1000 per dog.
What a festive fundraiser it was with nearly 150 people in attendance! The very dog-friendly Platform Brewery donated their space and two of their beers for the event; the New Cleveland Palesner, my favorite and the Speed Merchant. For $25, attendees received 3 beers and what seemed to be an endless supply of chicken fingers, sandwiches, pizza, cookies, etc. There were also fabulous raffle prizes. There were several baskets of beer and wine. The 3-night stay in a gorgeous house near the Smokies in Gatlinburg was popular. However, the most entertaining basket was from Ambiance, the store for lovers. The basket was full of human ‘toys’ and when the gentleman who won the basket proudly accepted his prize, the crowd went wild.
CACC currently has 5 heartworm positive dogs in their care that will benefit from the $11,740 raised at the Holiday Hope for Hearts event, as will future heartworm positive kennel residents. What’s unique about this particular fund is that the goal is to not only support dogs in CACC’s care, but also support adopters and rescues that choose to take in these dogs, and give them the necessary medical treatment. This makes the dogs so much easier to adopt out or get into a rescue because the dog comes with financial assistance to cure the heartworm!
What is heartworm?
Dogs suffering from heartworms are infested by a roundworm. The severity of the disease depends on the number of worms present in the body, the duration of the infestation, and the overall health of the dog.
Although heartworm has been found in all 50 states, it is most prevalent in tropical
climates but is also found near Ohio and Mississippi river basins. Since it is spread by mosquitoes, all of our Cleveland area dogs are certainly at risk. Any local vet will tell dog owners that they should provide their dog heartworm medicine year round.
The prognosis is good for the CACC dogs that have mild to moderate cases and the treatment isn’t painful for the dogs. The two heartworm positive dogs that I met at Platform Brewery, Carver and Autumn, seemed very healthy and happy! However, dogs with more severe cases may suffer from lung complications resulting from extreme medication given to kill serious infestations.