Football Star Raises Heartworm AwarenessPublished August 8, 2011
Flickr User CK
What in the world could football have in common with heartworm and raising heartworm awareness? Read on for the answer.
When temperature conditions reach 60 degrees for a month, the larvae of the heartworm are transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes to cats and dogs. And if the animal has not received preventative treatment, they are at high risk of being infected. While autumn is rapidly approaching in the warmer states, the heartworm season can be quite extensive, so administering preventive treatment year round makes good sense.
Since fall is just a few short weeks away, avid football fans are gearing up for the start of the new season. So for football fans who are also pet lovers, here is some very exciting news! Professional football player LaDainian Tomlinson (the running Back for the New York Jets), the American Heartworm Society and Banfield Pet Hospital are partnering to educate pet owners about heartworm disease which affects pets nationwide, releasing a public service announcement that began airing late last month.
Distributed to nationwide television and radio stations, the 60-second public service announcement will educate pet owners on how to protect their pets from this potentially fatal disease. The PSA, funded through an educational partnership with Banfield Pet Hospital (the world's largest veterinary practice), provides information about how the disease is transmitted and will also dispel heartworm misconceptions.
Wallace Graham, DVM, practicing veterinarian and president of the American Heartworm Society, commented on the new PSA.
“Many people are unaware that heartworm is a nationwide problem and that it only takes one mosquito to transmit the disease,” he said. “Because of Banfield’s educational grant, we were able to record the PSA with LaDainian Tomlinson, which will help us further our mission of helping the public to understand the importance of protecting pets against heartworm disease.”
Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield Pet Hospital also weighed in on the new campaign.
“Because heartworm disease can be so devastating to pets and their owners, it is extremely important that we educate the public about how it can be prevented,” he commented. “LaDainian Tomlinson’s support of our efforts will help us reach a large number of pet owners and we are grateful for his dedication and generosity to this important campaign.”
On a personal note, LaDainian Tomlinson expressed his passion for his part in the PSA.
“As someone who is passionate about pets, I believe keeping a pet healthy is key to their overall happiness,” he stated. “Knowing the seriousness of heartworm disease and how devastating it can be, I partnered with the American Heartworm Society and Banfield Pet Hospital to help bring greater awareness to this topic and encourage pet parents to take the necessary steps to protect their pets from this terrible disease."
Watch the PSA, uploaded to YouTube by 8589robert.
Are your pets protected against heartworm? Share in a comment.