Monday, April 13, 2015

April is Heartworm Awareness Month

Warm weather=mosquitos=heartworms
Spring brings beautiful weather and more time outdoors for humans as well as our canine companions.  But warmer weather also means mosquito season and mosquitos can pose a serious threat to your dog in the form of heartworms.

Heartworm, a parasitic roundworm, is transferred from dog to dog through mosquito bites. At one time confined to the southern U. S., heartworm is now found in all 50 states.  Adult heartworms can grow up to a foot long and live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels. 

What does heartworm mean for your dog?

Dogs show no symptoms of heartworm in the first six months of the infection after being bitten. Once the worms have  become adults, dogs may begin to show symptoms such as cough, reluctance to exercise, and exhaustion.  As the heartworm infection builds up in the heart without treatment, symptoms may include weight loss, decreased appetite, fainting, coughing up blood, lung disease, and fatal congestive heart disease.

Heartworm treatment

Treating heartworms can be costly, sometimes thousands of dollars, and painful for your dog.  The most common treatment is a series of injections that kill the adult heartworms in the blood vessels of the heart.  During treatment and for several weeks afterward, dogs must be kept quiet and restricted in their exercise, which can be difficult for active dogs.  The reason is that, after treatment, as the worms begin to die they break up and can cause blockages in the lungs, resulting in respiratory failure and death.

Prevention is the best medicine

The good news is that heartworm is easy and inexpensive to prevent.  All dogs are at risk and should be on a preventative year round, even inside dogs.  Preventative options include monthly pills, monthly topicals, and a six-month injectable medicine.  Heartworm preventatives are available from your vet and protection for your dog costs less than $100 a year.  It is also recommended that you get your dog tested yearly for heartworms by your vet.

Meet Dozer, a heartworm success story

Dozer, a spunky French Bulldog, came to the shelter in December. 
As with all dogs coming to FCHS, he was tested for heartworms.  Sadly for Dozer, he tested positive; but, fortunately, through our Cinderella Fund, which is used to treat extraordinary conditions in special animals, he was able to receive treatment.  The shelter staff has enjoyed having Dozer (and his silly antics) in residence during his three-month treatment period.  But Dozer would surely have preferred to avoid the discomfort of the heartworm treatment and be at his forever home by now.  Happily for Dozer, he is at the end of his treatment and has a loving family and forever home, including a little sister (a brindle Frenchie!), waiting for him.

Protect your dog

Dozer is one of the lucky ones.  Don't gamble with your dog's health.  April is heartworm awareness month.  Please be aware of the dangers and take the simple steps to protect your best friend.

Thank You to Our Officers!

In honor of "Animal Control Officers Week" (April 12th-18th), FCHS is recognizing the law enforcement officers who bring animals to our shelter.  Some of these animals are homeless and some are lost pets, but once at FCHS, they all receive kindness, medical care, and a change to go to a loving home.  We thank the officers for their compassion and professionalism in providing this valuable service to our communities.  As a token of our gratitude, we are giving the officers who come into the shelter this week a small gift to say, "Thanks!"

Monday, March 17, 2014

About US

About FCHS/history

Our mission:

The mission of the Franklin County Humane Society is to promote humane treatment of all animals and to reduce both pet overpopulation and the resulting euthanasia of healthy, adoptable pets through progressive adoption, education, sheltering and spay/neuter programs.

Who We Are   FCHS is a smaller, privately run non-profit organization dedicated to serving the homeless, abandoned, and lost companion animals in our area.  We operate an open-admission animal shelter, refusing no animal in need, and providing the possibility of adoption for these unwanted animals.  We strive to reduce pet overpopulation through promoting spaying and neutering and altering all pets adopted from our shelter, and we return lost pets by researching ownership and providing better identification.  Like many small shelters, we receive no state or county tax support and no funding from other humane organizations or the United Way, nor are we related to the St. Louis Humane Society.  While we receive fees and occasional donations for surrendered animals, we are dependent on private donations from our community.  It costs about $1,200 per day to keep our doors open!  We serve Franklin County (75%), but also 13 other counties because there are no other open-admission shelters in our immediate area.  We make a huge impact in east central Missouri.


  • What We Do - We offer a safe, loving environment for 2,000 to 3,000 lost, abandoned or unwanted dogs and cats each year.  About 45% of all animals we receive are litters of babies, and about 1/3 of all animals we receive are owned pets whose owners can no longer take care of them.  We provide shelter, nourishment, love and health care, and try to place these animals in loving homes or transfer them to rescue groups.  Some of the adoptable animals stay with us for several weeks or months until the right home is found.
  • History - After operating as a network of foster homes for many years and raising private funds to purchase a building, our shelter was established in Union, Missouri in January, 1994 to serve an unmet need in our area.
  • Staff - We have an excellent core staff of 18 full-time and part-time paid workers to be able to care for our animals 365 days each year.  Our volunteers help fill in to get the job done - we always need more volunteers!