Heart & Home
The mission of Heart & Home is to help keep pets healthy and, in their homes, where they belong, thus increasing lifesaving capacity in animal shelters across America through a reduction of heartworm positive animals entering shelters and an overall decrease in the number of lost/found animals ending up in shelters.
While no state is free of heartworm disease cases, according to the 2019 American Heartworm Society (AHS) Incident Survey, Alabama is one of the top five states with highest incidence and has been since the AHS began tracking in 2001. After strategic research of multiple sites throughout those top five states, AAPP selected Tuscaloosa, AL and Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter as the pilot for the location of its Heart & Home, along with Paws Humane Society of Columbus, GA.
The decision to begin in these communities was made in large part due to the strong leadership, tireless commitment, and resourcefulness, doing everything in its power to save as many animals as possible. However, despite their incredible efforts, like it is for most shelters in the Southeast, it’s almost impossible to reduce shelter intake without the necessary funding and resources.
Heartworm disease is a serious condition that can lead to severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and even death in pets. Heartworm disease is caused by a parasitic worm, which can be spread through the single bite of a mosquito. However, it is also preventable and treatable when pet owners have the knowledge and resources to be proactive. That is one of the primary goals of Heart & Home.
The secondary goal, and equally important, one in three pets becoming lost during their lifetime and, of those, 80% not being reunited with their families. We are also committed to addressing this crisis and in turn significantly reducing the number of stray animals entering animal shelters.
This allows humane organizations such as TMAS and Paws Humane Society to be able to care for the animals who really need their assistance, and for pets who have homes to not enter the sheltering system unnecessarily, thus increasing lifesaving capacity and preserving valuable shelter space and resources.
Heart stands for providing pet parents in need with free heartworm disease educational materials, heartworm testing, and preventative medications.
- With the generous support of Boehringer-Ingelheim, we were able to provide medications for all animals coming into both Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter and Paws Humane Society. These medications included the much-needed Heartgard and Nextgard.
- Through a donation from Zoetis, AAPP was able to provide free heartworm tests directly to Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter.
Home stands for providing pet parents in need a microchip with free lifetime registration so beloved pets can be reunited quickly with their families if they are lost/found without them having to enter an overcrowded animal shelter.
- Through a kind donor committed to helping pets get home safely, we were able donate 500 microchips to Paws Humane Society and Columbus Animal Care & Control
With the continued support of AAPP’s growing community of members, partners and friends, we will continue our life saving effort for pets and pet parents in underserved communities where needs are greatest, to keep their pets safe and protected.
What Our Shelters are Saying
Jennifer Earp, Executive Director, Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter
“We are thrilled to be selected as the pilot for Heart & Home, which will allow us to provide lifesaving heartworm prevention along with pet identification to areas of our community with the greatest need The Heart & Home Program will greatly reduce the number of pets who already have homes from entering our shelter, allowing us to focus our attention, space, and resources on those animals who really need us.”
Courtney Pierce, Executive Director, Paws Humane Society
“The partnership between Paws Humane Society and American Association of Pet Parents has not only enabled us to lower our cost for preventive care, it has also provided assistance in educating our adopters on the importance of protection against fleas, ticks and heartworms. Our main goal is finding our animal’s new forever homes, but we feel strongly that our role in this community is also educating the public on pet care and providing the resources to do so properly.
“We would also like to thank AAPP’s partner, SAINT for their generosity. Their donation made it possible to microchip hundreds of pets which plays a vital role in keeping animals where they belong – in their loving homes.”