"Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and ferrets, but heartworms also live in other mammal species, including wolves, coyotes, foxes, sea lions and—in rare instances—humans. Because wild species such as foxes and coyotes live in proximity to many urban areas, they are considered important carriers of the disease.
The dog is a natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring. If untreated, their numbers can increase, and dogs have been known to harbor several hundred worms in their bodies. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the dog’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. For this reason, prevention is by far the best option, and treatment—when needed—should be administered as early in the course of the disease as possible."
To learn more about Heartworm disease, please visit: https://www.heartwormsociety.org
In search of a new best friend, Bark For Hearts' founder, Jordan, browsed the website of his local animal shelter. After just minutes of looking, Jordan rushed to the shelter to meet some of the dogs. What shocked him was that half of the dogs were marked with Heartworm positive. This meant that upon adoption, you would be responsible for the treatment and other veterinary costs surrounding the potentially fatal disease. As a result, Jordan was deterred away. After returning home, with much disappointment, Jordan turned to Craigslist to rescue a dog from another family. That is how Jordan met Maddie the following weekend. On Monday, Jordan took Maddie to the vet to make sure she was healthy, and at that time, Jordan learned Maddie had Heartworm disease. The previous owner did not share this with Jordan, but there he was, as a 21 year old, with an expense he could not imagine.
Barks for Hearts is an organization devoted to raise awareness and funds for the dogs with Heartworm disease in animal shelters. Jordan realized how prevalent and deadly this disease was and knew something had to be done. Dogs with Heartworm disease spend much more time in shelters than their counterpart without the disease. The hope and dream for this charity is to help get these dogs treated so that they can have a faster turn around time for being in the shelter and get them into a loving and caring home. Barks for Hearts wishes to create the best living environments for the dogs in shelters while also providing treatment to those affected by Heartworm disease. Special thanks to Brianna Schiff for the extremely creative name for this organization.