Who: In honor of Heartworm Awareness Month, Lafayette Animal Shelter & Care Center and Greater Good Charities, in cooperation with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, the maker of HEARTGARD® Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel), and The Animal Rescue Site will launch the Good Flights program and airlift approximately 120 Louisiana shelter pets, including asymptomatic heartworm-positive dogs, across state lines and into care and new adoptive homes on East Coast.
The year-long goal is to transport 2,000 shelter dogs from Louisiana, where they are at risk of euthanasia, to new homes on the East Coast. That number includes 1,000 asymptomatic heartworm-positive dogs. The Save a Heart Initiative is part of the Greater Good Charities’ Good Flights program. and aims to reduce shelter euthanasia in overcrowded shelters by preventing and treating heartworm disease in shelter dogs, while transporting adoptable asymptomatic heartworm-positive dogs to safety. Participating shelter partners in Louisiana will include Acadiana Animal Aid, St. Charles Parish Animal Shelter, Lafourche Parish Animal Shelter, St. Martin Parish Animal Services, Cara’s House, Washington Parish Animal Shelter, and Lafayette Animal Shelter and Care Center. The receiving shelter partners include St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey and the Humane Society of Broward County in Florida.
WHEN AND WHERE: The inaugural Save a Heart mission will take place on April 19 (Lafayette) and April 20 (New Orleans) via three planes carrying approximately 120 at-risk shelter dogs, with 50% of the dogs being asymptomatic heartworm positive, from Louisiana (Lafayette and New Orleans) to Morristown, N.J. and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additionally, in late April, a ground transport carrying 35 at-risk shelter dogs, with 50% of the dogs being asymptomatic heartworm positive, will depart Southeast Louisiana to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
April 19, 2021 (80 shelter pets via two planes)
Departure Airport 6:00 a.m./CT – Load in of shelter pets 7:00 a.m./CT – Take off Lafayette Regional Airport – Private Hanger 217 Jet Ranger X Dr Lafayette, LA 70508
Arrival Airport – 12:15 p.m./ET Morristown Airport 50 Airport Road, Suite 180 Morristown, NJ 07960
April 20, 2021 (40 shelter pets via one plane)
Departure Airport 6:00 a.m./CT – Load in of shelter pets 7:00 a.m./CT – Take off
New Orleans Lakefront Airport Firstline
6101 Guieppe Bellanca St New Orleans, LA 70126
Arrival Airport – 10:45 a.m./ET
National Jets FBO
3495 SW 9th Ave Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
WHY: According to the American Heartworm Society, Louisiana is one of the leading states in heartworm infection rates in the United States.1 That puts heartworm-positive shelter dogs in Louisiana at a higher risk of euthanasia due to the length of care, space required and cost of treatment.
HOW: This Save a Heart flight mission is made possible by Greater Good Charities in cooperation with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, the maker of HEARTGARD® Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel), and The Animal Rescue Site. A special thank you to the Banfield Foundation for helping to cover the costs of veterinary care for participating shelter pets of Save a Heart.
WHAT: This initiative will allow 1,000 asymptomatic heartworm-positive shelter dogs that are transported via Save a Heart to receive initial medication, in accordance with the American Heartworm Society's recommendations, prior to transport. The Greater Good Charities’ Good Flights team will work in concert with veterinary teams to select candidates that are positive for heartworm disease and are not showing clinical signs of the disease which qualifies them for transport. Upon arrival at their destination shelter, the heartworm-positive shelter dogs will ideally be placed into foster or adoptive homes to complete heartworm treatment and be monitored until they test negative.
Save a Heart flights and ground transports will occur approximately 2-3 times a month for one year after the inaugural mission. Each Save a Heart trip will transport 50% asymptomatic heartworm-positive dogs, (1,000 for the year) with an additional 1,000 heartworm-negative shelter dogs, for a total of 2,000 shelter dogs over the course of the year relocated to safety. Additionally, the initiative will help nearly 2,500 heartworm-positive shelter dogs that are not transported; those dogs will receive medication in Louisiana via the Save a Heart initiative, saving even more lives.
Good Flights is staffed with trained and seasoned animal welfare transport professionals who adhere to best practices in pet transport. Good Flights covers all transport costs and provides mentorship to sending shelters as well as pet care supplies, like crates and bowls donated by The Animal Rescue Site, and cash grant support to all shelter partners.
Good Flights is a program of Greater Good Charities that conducts life-saving airlifts and ground transport for at-risk pet populations with a heavy focus on asymptomatic heartworm-positive shelter dogs as well as disaster relief, homeless cats, and bully breeds. All shelter pets transported via Good Flights will be done so in compliance with the USDA interstate regulations. Learn more at greatergood.org.