CHARLOTTE – BISSELL Pet Foundation has awarded the Humane Society of Charlotte a lifesaving grant that will treat numerous shelter dogs diagnosed with heartworms in the coming months.

The Healing Heartworms grant will help with expenses related to identifying, treating and preventing this deadly disease in dogs in the Charlotte community and beyond.

Thousands of heartworm-positive dogs enter shelters every year.

The Humane Society of Charlotte, which follows a no-kill philosophy, partners with 22 municipal shelters to transfer animals to the Toomey Avenue shelter, including those that are heartworm-positive, to reduce the risk of euthanasia due to overcrowding, lack of adopters and medical cost barriers.

The Healing Heartworms grant will provide funding that will allow the Humane Society of Charlotte to transfer a larger population of heartworm-positive dogs to the shelter where they will begin treatment prior to adoption.

“Heartworm-positive dogs are just like any other dog, and they deserve the same chance at a new life as any other pet, and that is why we are thrilled to provide much-needed resources to shelters,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “Cost and care for infected dogs can be extensive, but together with these partners, we can make a difference in the community and help these wonderful pets lead long, happy lives.”

BISSELL Pet Foundation and the Humane Society of Charlotte will also provide educational materials to both adopters and pet owners about heartworms and work to limit the risk for pets in the community. Heartworm disease is easily preventable with monthly medication which is available at a reduced cost at the Humane Society of Charlotte. Heartworms are transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitos and because of the climate in the Charlotte area, dogs that are unprotected can become easily infected. Tragically, when left untreated, the disease can be potentially fatal.

"Heartworm disease is one of the largest barriers to adoption for dogs in shelters," said Libby Jones, vice president of operations for Humane Society of Charlotte. “It is a preventable and treatable disease and with the help of BISSELL Pet Foundation's Healing Heartworm Program, our team will be able to continue our lifesaving work and get these animals the help they need".

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