Cookie, a 2-year-old dog recovered by Danville Animal Control from an abusive household, is in need of a treatment for heartworms which the Danville Area Humane Society (DAHS) will pay for using a donation fund.
The April Hogan Shelter Animal Fund, which dedicates donated money to life-saving veterinary care for DAHS shelter animals, is footing the expected $600 treatment for Cookie.
According to DAHS director Paulette Dean, this fund was established last year in honor of the shelter’s long-time shelter manager, April Hogan.
“She’s been here close to 27 years,” Dean said. “As a way of honoring her service, in September of 2019, the board established this fund.”
The fund started off strong as Hogan’s family donated a significant amount of money to the fund, all of which has gone towards the treatment of animals in the shelter’s care.
While city money covers injury care for animals, Dean explained that it only covers basic veterinary care. Any treatment beyond stabilizing and comforting an animal to keep them out of pain is an out of pocket expense for the shelter.
“Basic veterinary care gets them out of pain and stabilizes them,” Dean said. “This fund takes it one step further and makes them adoptable.”
When Cookie was taken into the shelter, she had seen much better days. She was very thin and underweight, and after a veterinarian test, she had developed a mild case of heartworms.
Dean confirmed that charges have been filed against Cookie’s previous owner.
Heartworm is a condition where a parasite, usually transmitted through a mosquito bite, finds its way through an animals blood and leaves its larvae in the animal’s heart. As Dean explained, though some cases are worse than others, the condition has a high likelihood of being fatal.
“Heartworm is exactly what it says it is,” Dean said. “It’s a life-ending disease.”
Using veterinary medicine, Heartworm is easily prevented, Dean said, but once a dog is infected, it is not easily treated.
So for an animal like Cookie, who found herself rescued out of a neglectful situation, the life-saving series of injections she needs, an around $600 expense, is not covered by city funds.
As Hogan herself explained, this is where the fund created in her honor comes in.
“[It means] better quality [of life] and being able to adopt more out,” Hogan said. “It means a lot to me, because we can actually help more, as far as if they need veterinary care. It’s one of the reason I came here was to help animals.”
A common situation the shelter faces, Hogan said, is taking in animals who have suffered accidents that leave a limb requiring amputation, a procedure which can cost as much as $1,500.
“We can take them to the vet with that fund, where we wouldn’t have had the money to do that,” Hogan said. “[Before the fund] we wouldn’t have been able to afford [an amputation], we would’ve just had to have kept it comfortable.”
The DAHS has established several donation funds dedicated to aspects of a shelter animal’s quality of life.
These include the Earl Merricks Stop Abuse fund, established by Harold and Deb Merricks, which pays for rewards the DAHS offers for information leading to charges being filed in cases of animal abuse.
Dean confirmed that the city has filed charges against Cookie’s previous owner.
There are also other funds dedicated to providing for veterinary care, such as the Katie Fund, and two other funds, the Fritz Childrey Fund for Older Friends which provides veterinary funds for animals older than 8 years old, and the Tracey Keller Pit Bull Buddy Fund, which provides for veterinary care to Pit Bulls.