Widespread heartworm disease slowing down animal rescue’s efforts

ST. LOUIS, MO - Mosquitos have returned and local animal rescues are feeling the bite.  Heartworm disease begins when an infected mosquito bites a dog. Gateway Pet Guardians works to care for homeless animals in East St. Louis and other surrounding areas of the Metro East. They are already treating 32 dogs for heartworm disease and need financial help to rescue more.

Executive Director Jaime Case explains, “There are 13 currently sitting on the euthanasia list at local animal control. Every one of them is heartworm positive and need rescues to transfer them but it’s expensive.”

It cost $600 to$900 to treat a dog once it has heartworm. That total adds up.

“Organizations like ours, because not all dogs are on preventative, we are getting stuck with the bill to treat dogs and adopt them out healthy.”

They are trying to raise as much money as possible so they don't have to turn their backs on the pups.

April Heartworm Awareness Month. Case reminds every dog owner, it doesn't matter if you have an inside or outside dog, they need to be on a monthly preventative.

Signs of heartworm disease may include a persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue, decreased appetite, and weight loss. Pets with the condition may develop heart failure and the appearance of a swollen belly due to excess fluid in the abdomen.

More: Gateway Pet Guardians