Gollum's Fund

Help fight heartworm

Gollum’s Fund- a special fund created to provide heartworm prevention for all dogs in our care, to treat any dog affected by this terrible disease, and to educate the public about the risk and prevention of heartworm infection.

We have started Gollum’s Fund to help us care for all of our dogs who have heartworm disease, and to prevent it in all who are lucky enough not to be afflicted. All of the money donated in Gollum’s memory will be used to make sure that another dog doesn’t have to die needlessly.

Below are average costs for each dog in our care:

Heartworm Test – $40
Monthly Preventatives (if negative) – $50/year
Treatment if positive for heartworm – $300-500

If you would like to make a donation towards the care of our dogs, choose from the drop-down, or enter an amount in the box below.


Gollum’s Story

Gollum was surrendered to a TN shelter with an eye so badly damaged it could not be saved. As soon as we saw his sweet little face we knew we had to help him! We pulled him from the shelter, and he was placed in a loving foster home. He was a Chinese Crested, only 5 years old, and a tiny little thing- 6 lbs! But anyone who met him would tell you that his personality was HUGE. He had a feisty, frisky spirit, loved to dance, and quickly became the dog in charge in his foster home. We absolutely loved him!

We had him tested for heartworm, as we do with all of our dogs, and our hearts sank when we found out he was infected- and that he had a heart murmur, likely the result of his infection. We knew that the treatment would be risky for so many reasons- his size, his heart condition, and the fact he had been neglected for so long. We also knew, though, that we had no choice, and couldn’t just let him die.

After discussion of all the options, we went with the opinion of the vet who was treating him, and chose the recommended protocol of the American Heartworm Society. He was cared for in an experienced foster home meticulously, with strict crate rest.

Despite all of our prayers and care, Gollum did not survive his treatment. Nine days after his first treatment, he developed respiratory distress and suddenly died as the result of dying heartworms blocking is pulmonary arteries.

The very saddest part of Gollum’s story is that his death was so preventable. A simple monthly pill would have given him 10 more good years! And a heartworm test done even a year or so earlier, before his little body was so damaged, may have allowed treatment to be a success.

Unfortunately Gollum was not the first, and likely won’t be the last, dog that we’ve seen die from this awful but preventable illness. We appreciate any donations, and if you are not in a position to help financially, please share his story with every dog owner you know and educate all you can about the risk and prevention of heartworm disease.


small dog named "Gollum" laying down with only one eye as it was so badly damaged it could not be saved