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Wags 4 Hope This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


Last year my family rescued a two-year-old shaggy dog from a high-kill shelter in Houston, Texas. Our new dog, Teddy, had heartworms and needed to be nursed back to health. Recovery was a long, painful process. He was given two injections and had to remain in a crate and stay inactive. It broke my heart to see my loving companion, who brought such joy to my family, enduring great pain.

I later learned that heartworm exists in every state. Many dogs are not given protection against this parasite, and infected animals are vulnerable to heart and pulmonary lung disease, and even possible death. It is incredible to think that this suffering can be completely avoided by giving your pet a single pill every month.

In an effort to raise heartworm awareness, I have created a non-profit organization called Wags 4 Hope and started a club at my high school to get others involved. It is here where I can combine my passion for animals with my love of painting. All the money raised through my paintings benefits dog shelters and helps pay medical needs until dogs find their forever homes.

Teddy is an incredible dog, and he made me aware of all of the other innocent animals who are at risk. I am so grateful that he is alive today. Because Teddy was saved, I know other dogs can be too.

Please visit my website, www.wags4hope.org.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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