Pet safety

​Pet Health and Wellness​

​Fleas, ticks, heartworms, parvo...oh my!

​​Dogs and cats are prone to getting many different types of diseases and viruses if they are not properly protected by monthly pills, flea and tick topical medicine​​​, or yearly shots from the veterinarian. Most viruses and diseases are easily preventable and are cheaper to provide than treatments.

One example: Heartworms. Monthly pills from a veterinarian can cost around $150-$200 for a 6 month supply. That may seem expensive but if an animal gets heartworms, treatments could cost upwards of ​$1500 or more!​ And, if left untreated, your animal could die from heartworms.​

Animal Care & Control wants to make sure pet owners are informed on proper prevention for various diseases and viruses to keep pets healthy, happy, and safe. Listed below are websites that provide information about​ illnesses that pets can get if they are not properly vaccinated or on prevention.

Over all pet care (dogs and cats):

Cat care:​​

Dog care:​​​ <= kennel cough

About Heartworms:​​ <= This is a map laid out for you to see where the highest rate of heartowrm disease is in the US. And of course, that highest rate is right here in the southeast.


Heartworm Basics

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, and over time cause severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Dogs are a natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring.

Mosquitoes play an essential role in the heartworm life cycle. They transmit the microscopic microfilaria from a host (infected animal) to a non-infected animal, which eventually migrate to the heart and grow into adult heartworms. If a dog is kept on consistent heartworm prevention its entire life, the risk of the animal developing heartworms is drastically decreased. Animal Care & Control is dedicated to preventing dogs from developing heartworm disease through educating the public and aims to treat as many heartworm-positive dogs as possible through grant-funded programs.

When a heartworm positive animal comes into AC&C, we do everything we can to save it through two different programs listed below.

Pit Pass II: All heartworm positive dogs, regardless of breed, that are adopted through regular adoption at AC&C come with a $200 voucher for heartworm treatment at a veterinary clinic that will accept the voucher. (They also come with a free leash, collar, and kong toy.) The overall cost for heartworm treatment averages $800-1200, depending on the size, age, and health of the dog. Heartworm positive dogs in adoption are current on vaccinations (DHPP, Bordetella, Rabies), have been dewormed, are microchipped and will be spayed or neutered with no cost to you. All you will pay is a $10 license fee if living in Mecklenburg County.


Recommended Clinics for Voucher Use (pre-approved vendors):

Pressly Animal Hospital
1315 Chestnut Ln, Matthews, NC 28104

Long Animal Hospital
2523 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203


Foster-to-Adopt: Some heartworm-positive dogs available for adoption are approved for our foster-to-adopt program, in which heartworm treatment is provided at no cost to you and is done by AC&C's shelter veterinarian, Dr. Elizabeth Stack. As the name suggests, you will apply to foster the dog you want to eventually adopt, and the dog is treated for heartworms as a foster dog through the shelter. Once the canine tests negative for heartworms, he or she can officially be adopted! This program is grant-funded and helps defray costs of heartworm treatment to potential adopters. While dogs are undergoing heartworm treatment as fosters, AC&C's​ shelter veterinarian must be used as the primary veterinarian for care. Medical care (including heartworm prevention, deworming, vaccines, spay/neuter surgery, medications) is covered financially by the shelter. Animals approved for this program can also be directly adopted through Pit Pass II.​