Wags 4 Hope: Artwork to Support Heartworm Education and Prevention
My name is Annie Blumenfeld. I’m from Connecticut and currently a student at Cornell University. I formed Wags 4 Hope, a nonprofit organization, when I was in 8th grade in honor of my rescue dog, Teddy.
Teddy came from a high-kill shelter and had the horrible disease of heartworm. During his recovery, Teddy had to be confined to a kennel for more than a month and stabilized with arsenic injections. As he fought for his life, he inspired me to do more for animals like him.
I wanted to raise funds for animals with severe cases of heartworm and other diseases. I knew that too many of these animals will never see the light of day again because of their condition. But if there was help to cover their medical needs, they had a better chance of finding the loving homes they deserved.
I raise money by selling my animal artwork and giving all of the proceeds directly to rescues and shelters. My mission is to raise awareness about heartworm, support shelter animals' medical needs, and encourage responsible pet care.
One of my organization’s greatest successes was creating a bill with the help of my state representative to include heartworm education on the Connecticut dog license. Connecticut is now the first state to have this sort of education campaign along with its licensing materials, and it’s my true hope that it will help prevent future cases of this terrible disease.