, a dog rescue and pet wellness nonprofit organization, and Orange County Animal Services
have been working together since the summer of 2015 to create Healing Hearts, a community outreach program that aims to treat heartworm-positive dogs in shelters.
Beginning March 1, the new program will identify shelter dogs with heartworm, and then treat and cover the costs once the animal is adopted.
"Being a special-needs dog rescue limits us in the amount of lives we can save from the shelter by the nature of what we do. As a community outreach program, Healing Hearts allows LoveyLoaves to save more lives," said Cheri Wells, LoveyLoaves founder and executive chairman.
If someone is interested in adopting one of the heartworm-positive shelter dogs, the dog can be taken home and arranged to receive treatment from LoveyLoaves within 30 days, according to a press release.
OCAS estimates that about one in 10 dogs that enter the shelter test positive for heartworm disease, the release states.
"Our partnership with LoveyLoaves is essential for combating this epidemic and increasing adoptions. We hope the community supports Cheri in ensuring the success of a truly outstanding program," OCAS Division Manager Dil Luther said in the release.