Tag Archives: heartworm

A Humane Policy?

In his long career as a Coleytown Middle School phys ed. teacher, Ron Weir was well known for lavishing care and attention on every child.

Less well known is his interest in animals.  But that’s an important interest too.  Over the years, Ron has adopted 5 dogs from the Westport branch of the Connecticut Humane Society.

A couple of months ago, he picked up an 8-year-old dalmatian mix.

The man Ron hired to install an invisible fence on his property said the dog had “kennel cough.”  The next day, Ron took Precious to the vet.  The dog was diagnosed with heartworm.

The Humane Society has a 30-day policy for visiting a vet.  Ron called the Society, and described the potentially fatal parasitic disease.  The Humane Society said to bring the dog back.

His vet, however, said that — because of Precious’ age and illness — that meant it would be euthanized.

“I love this animal,” Ron says.  “That’s unacceptable.”

He took Precious to several veterinarians.  One — a heart specialist in Shelton — thinks he can save the dog.

Ron had spent $250 on a Humane Society insurance policy.  But it paid only $1,500.  So far, Ron has paid about $6,000 for the animal’s care.

He called the Humane Society in Westport — and the state office — to see if they could help with medical expenses.

“The dog came from North Carolina,” Ron says.  “My vet said there’s a lot of heartworm down there.  But the Humane  Society never checked for it.”

I called the Westport Humane Society, and asked about its policy if — after adoption — one of its animals is found to have a disease.

“We don’t provide care,” a spokeswoman said.  “All animals are spayed, neutered, and current in their shots.”

So, I continued, an owner has to pick up all medical expenses for a dog rescued from its facility?

“Of course,” she replied.

Ron thinks it’s unfair that the dog was not tested for an endemic disease like heartworm.

But, he says, he won’t let Precious be put down.

“I love her,” he says.  “I’m not going to lose her.”

(A reader asked if she could contribute funds to Precious’s care.  Ron Weir’s address is Box 488, Redding Ridge, CT 06876.)