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Washington Animal Rescue League: Shelter+ Challenge Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Grant funding helped the League provide medical services for homeless animals in our care.

As a partner shelter assisting overburdened facilities by transferring homeless animals to WARL for adoption, we care for animals who have been exposed to conditions of various shelter environments from different regions of the country. Most have received minimal prior healthcare and some are in need of veterinary procedures that can be expensive or difficult to treat. Further, our medical staff are increasingly treating issues more common in southern areas of the U.S., because we are accepting a greater number of transfers from the south where the overpopulation problem is more prevalent.

For example, we treated an increased number of animals for heartworm in the last six months. Heartworm is cause by a mosquito-born parasite and the disease is more widespread in states with warmer year-round temperatures. Treatment for heartworm is not only costly, but takes three to four months and can have complications. There is only one FDA-approved drug for eliminating adult heartworm in dogs, Immiticide, which is administered by deep intramuscular injection that requires strong pain medications, followed by cage-rest or confinement to a quiet place for long periods during recovery. In addition to the injections and pain medications, dogs receiving this treatment are also administered doxycycline, an antibiotic to kill larvae and reduce adverse effects.

How many pets did this grant help?


Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

This grant helped us treat Jacquard, a 4-year-old Pomeranian mix from Alabama, for heartworm disease. Jacquard, who arrived in November 2013, spent many hours of quality time cuddling in the laps of office staff (such as Kelsey Beaumont, WARL’s development associate, pictured) during her treatment and recovery.

Jacquard responded very well to the heartworm treatment and was adopted in February 2014. Her family has kept in touch to remind us just how special she is. They write: “I just wanted to say how awesome Jackie’s been. We had the grandkids over tonight and she let them take a heartbeat and check her ears while playing doctor. She’s absolutely darling. Thanks again.”

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