Animal Shelter Observing Heartworm Eradication Month

The Dillon County Animal Shelter has designated February as Heartworm Eradication Month, and the staff, along with Friends Helping the Dillon Shelter and the Humane Society of Dillon County, are hoping to save a dozen dogs currently at the Shelter from dying an agonizing, slow death with this dread disease.

The story of Sally, a wounded, abandoned stray whose life took an amazingly wonderful turn for the better, serves as inspiration for this campaign. Sally began showing up along the back fence of the Dillon County Detention Center last fall. She was suffering from an infected shoulder wound.
The fact that she was heartworm positive made it very unlikely that she would ever be adopted or saved by a rescue group. Fast-kill heartworm treatment is very expensive, and it is certainly not covered in the Shelter’s budget. During the time that Sally’s sweet demeanor was charming the Shelter staff, a terrible tragedy occurred on the other side of the country. A young man with Columbia connections died tragically along with his beloved rescue dog. The grieving family requested that memorials be made to animal rescue groups of one’s choice. His aunt, Malissa Burnett, with Burnett, Shutt, and McDaniel Law Firm in Columbia, asked her law partner-Kathleen McDaniel-for recommendations and, of course, Kathleen recommended the Humane Society of Dillon County.

Luckily, a member of the Humane Society of Dillon County was one of the ones being charmed by sweet Sally. She described Sally’s gloomy future to the Columbia group, and the law firm decided to fund fast-kill heartworm treatment for her as a memorial to this young man.
A series of very fortunate events continued for this once-doomed pup when Audrey McDonald, an very caring and knowledgeable foster for the Dillon County Animal Shelter, volunteered to take Sally into her home for recuperation from her heartworm treatment. When Audrey pronounced Sally the perfect family dog, the Humane Society began looking for a permanent adoptive home for her.
Amazingly, another partner in the Burnett, Shutt and McDaniel Law Firm began searching for a perfect family dog, and they contacted the Humane Society about Sally. There was some concern about how Sally would respond to young children because she had never been observed around them. It was arranged for Sarah Cox and her family to drive from Columbia to Lake View just for a “meet-and-greet”, but when they met Sally, magic happened, and they took Sally back to Columbia to begin her new life as a beloved member of their family. Today Sally is blissfully unaware of all the very tragic and also loving twists of fate that have enabled her to enjoy her present life.
Sally’s story serves as a prime example of how teamwork and caring people can save lives of heartworm-afflicted dogs. Currently, there are twelve dogs suffering from heartworms at the Dillon County Animal Shelter. Without treatment, these dogs will most certainly die a slow, agonizing death, alone and unloved. Heartworm treatment is very expensive, often costing as much as $400-$450 depending on the weight of the dog. And ten of the dogs at the Shelter weigh 50 pounds or more. The Dillon County Animal Shelter Staff, Friends Helping the Dillon Shelter, and the Humane Society of Dillon County are designating the heart-happy month of February as Heartworm Eradication Month. Hopefully, we have organizations, businesses, and individuals in Dillon County who are willing to sponsor one of these 12 dogs for this life-saving treatment.To join the efforts, donations may be sent to Humane Society of Dillon County, 4160 Glasdrum Drive, Little Rock, SC 29567 or Paypal to [email protected] and designate for heartworm treatment.