FOJA is focused on providing the animals housed at Jacksonville's municipal shelter, or in approved foster homes, with medical care unavailable to them due to government funding shortfalls. Even though heartworm is a preventable disease, approximately thirty percent of the animals taken in at the shelter test positive. They currently have no access to treatment for this fatal disease. FOJA’s “Heart Care Program” covers the cost of Immiticide to treat eligible heartworm positive dogs in the shelter and offers financial assistance to heartworm positive dogs adopted from Animal Care & Protective Services.
In 2008 a group of shelter volunteers learned that heartworm positive dogs faced euthanasia because the city lacked the resources for treatment. Those volunteers vowed to do something about it, and FOJA was born. After much research and planning, the FOJA Heart Care Program was created and in 2009, the first heart worm positive dog was treated. Heart Care has been the FOJA flagship program ever since.
what are heartworms and how can I protect my pet?
Check out the Heart Worm Society's website to read about heartworm, and how to protect your pet from getting them.
how much does it cost to save lives?
The cost of heartworm treatment can easily add up. FOJA's "Heart Care Program" is where the majority of FOJA funding goes. Immiticide, the medication given to treat heartworms, costs about $42.50 per vial. Each vial treats 44lbs of dog. To treat the average sized dog (44lbs) entering the shelter with heartworm, FOJA pays $127.50 for the three shot treatment method, or $85 for the two shot method. Thanks to our donors, we are able to save the lives of dogs suffering from heartworms.