The Humane Society of Missouri (HSMO) is requesting immediate volunteer foster parent assistance for the care of 25 of 101 dogs received in late April from a shelter in northern Louisiana. Forty of the original group of dogs tested positive for heartworm disease. Some are already in foster homes. An additional 25 foster homes are needed to care for the remaining heartworm-positive dogs. Some of the other dogs from the Louisiana shelter have been adopted, others will soon be available for adoption at HSMO’s three shelters in St. Louis City, Maryland Heights and Chesterfield Valley.
Left untreated, heartworm disease causes inflammation and enlargement of blood vessels and interference with blood flow resulting in heart failure and death. The 8-to-12-week treatment regimen requires a series of injections followed by several weeks of restricted activity for the dog. Most treated dogs recover from the disease and can live normal lives. Heartworm disease is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. To prevent the disease, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends regular/monthly administration of heartworm preventative medication for all dogs.
HSMO Foster Parents must attend a 1-hour training and will receive medications, veterinary exams, and food for their foster pet, all provided free of charge by HSMO. They care for the dog in their home and are asked to follow all veterinary and shelter recommendations and, at the end of the treatment period, return the dog to the shelter for adoption.
March flooding and April storms in Louisiana severely damaged the shelter forcing it to close and relocate all of its dogs. Shelter operators contacted the Louisiana SPCA which contacted the Humane Society of Missouri for assistance in caring and finding homes for these animals.
"These dogs are very friendly and healthy, aside from the heartworm disease," said Debbie Hill, vice president of Operations for the Humane Society of Missouri. "They will make great pets for families in their new home state of Missouri."
If you would like to become a volunteer foster parent for one of the Louisiana dogs, please complete this survey »
We are also in need of quiet interactive toys such as Busy Bone, Kongs, Bouncy Bone, Teeter Treater, and Nobbly Nubby for these dogs. Donations can be brought to HSMO's Macklind Ave. Headquarters at 1201 Macklind Ave. in St. Louis City.