What’s a Fairfield Connecticut girl to do when the animals she cares so desperately about can’t speak for themselves? Sixteen-year-old Annie Blumenfeld can’t vote yet, but she’s found her voice for animals and it rings with eloquence and compassion. Annie created Wags 4 Hope, whose primary mission is to “spread Heartworm disease awareness to pet owners across the country.”
Annie’s story of discovery and empowerment began two years ago when her family adopted a darling terrier named Teddy from a Houston rescue organization. Annie’s family fell in love with Teddy. They were devastated to discover that he was suffering from heartworm. Yuk.
Heartworm is every bit as vile as it sounds. Essentially, heartworm is a condition where small, worm-like parasites infest the internal organs of their host. It is often fatal.
Fortunately for Teddy, his rescuers were not the kind of people who pull the covers up over their heads. Teddy was treated in Houston by Ms. Kathy Wetmore of Shaggy Dog Rescue. These special people elected to undergo the lengthy, expensive and uncomfortable ordeal of ridding Teddy’s body of heartworm infestation. We won’t keep you in suspense; Teddy made a full recovery and is now flourishing with the Blumenfelds. The experience was a traumatic, painstaking journey for both Annie and Teddy. The treatment for heartworm involves giving the dog injections of arsenic! Teddy needed complete bed rest in his crate for a period of two months while the medication worked its way through his system.
Annie Makes Heartworm Awareness Her Cause
Annie did a bit of investigation and was surprised to learn that heartworm is completely avoidable with a simple, monthly preventative. The medicine is moderately priced at around $7.50 per monthly tablet. The cost of treatment is much higher, running into many hundreds of dollars. The price of prevention seems cheap when we consider the suffering that heartworm causes for the dog and his family.
Heartworm is transmitted to the dog through the bite of an infected mosquito. Dogs cannot “catch” heartworm from one another. Estimates suggest that over one million dogs in the U.S. are suffering from heartworm disease.
Annie Blumenfeld story is an inspiration for any of us who aspire to be heard on a social cause. Heartworm is far from a glamorous topic for a teen to undertake but Annie’s love for animals outshines her subject matter. Annie tackled the imposing load of paperwork entailed in the establishment of a charity. She named it Wags 4 Hope. She created a website, she administers a Facebook page, and writes a Tumblr blog, too. Whew!
Annie is a gifted problem solver who visualizes creative solutions to make social progress. In addition to her Wags4Hope charity foundation, Annie volunteers her artistry to cheer sick children. Her devotion is profound. Her enthusiasm is contagious.
Please join The Pet Matchmaker and support Annie Blumenfeld’s public service. She is indeed a young woman to watch as an animal advocate and as a beacon of humanity. Go Annie!