MAY - 2020
Our goal is to rescue stray dogs of any breed off the streets of Detroit that are injured, sick or that are in imminent danger and need immediate medical attention.

This issue dedicated in loving memory of Lucy

Heartworm disease is one of the most common canine diseases that we deal with here at Detroit Pit Crew. Approximately 40-50% of every adult stray dog that we rescue tests positive for heartworm disease. This is a very heartbreaking statistic since we know that heartworm is 100% preventable with a simple monthly pill. 

Lucy was one of our rescued dogs found running the streets of Detroit by a resident who contacted us to report a “pregnant stray” that needed help. Sadly, Lucy’s distended belly was not due to pregnancy but rather was from fluid accumulation caused by late stage heartworm disease. The damage done to Lucy’s heart was significant and eventually caused her to go into heart failure. Unfortunately, we were not able to fix or treat Lucy’s condition because the damage done to the heart by the worms was irreversible. Lucy spent her last days in a wonderful fospice home where she was loved and spoiled until it was time for her to cross over the rainbow bridge.

May 2020 Crews News is dedicated in loving memory of our beloved rescue girl Lucy. We will never forget sweet Lucy. Rest in Peace Lucy knowing that your life mattered to us.  

With a heavy heart...
Theresa Sumpter
Executive Director
Here are a few of our heartworm positive rescued dogs
Poor Willow was thrown out of a car in Detroit in the pouring rain. An eye witness called us and our crew quickly rushed to the location and found her shaking and traumatized. We rushed her to a veterinary hospital where she too tested positive for heartworm. Sadly, this poor girl now has to endure heartworm treatment which is expensive and painful. Donations and prayers towards Willows recovery are very much appreciated.
Peaches Struggle with Heartworm
We rescued Peaches on February 19th after receiving a call from a police officer in Detroit who noticed her wandering around. We rushed her to a veterinarian hospital where it was confirmed she was heartworm positive and not pregnant. Her distended belly was due to fluid developing in her abdomen from heart failure and her prognosis was grim.
Thankfully Peaches heart was not as damaged as Lucy's, so we were able to start heartworm treatment. In the last three months she has received three shots to kill the heartworms as well as numerous other medications to help strengthen her heart and keep her going. We are happy to report that the fluid in her belly has dissipated.
Heartworm disease & prevention

Heartworm disease is a serious disease that is becoming more common throughout the US. This disease can cause significant and sometimes irreversible damage to the heart and lungs. The good news is that it is easily preventable!

Heartworm disease can affect dogs, cats, ferrets and other mammals with each species developing different signs. Cases have now been reported in all 50 states with more cases in the northern states every year. When an infected mosquito bites a dog, the “juvenile” stage enters the pet’s bloodstream. This grows over time to become a worm which migrates to the heart and blood vessels of the lungs. There, these worms produce more worms and cause damage over time. Signs of heartworm that are most commonly seen include persistent cough, unwillingness to play, getting easily tired, weight loss and decreased appetite.
Since we are not able to prevent mosquitos from biting our pets, we need to give them preventative medications that kill the heartworm if they become infected. These medications are very safe and very effective. Some even have other benefits like treating intestinal worms. To start these medications, your veterinarian needs to verify that your pet does not currently have heartworms. This is accomplished with a simple blood test in hospital or sometimes sent to the lab with the results returning the next day. This test is commonly included in your pet’s yearly bloodwork.
Prevention of this disease usually involves a once monthly chewable treat, topical medication or an injectable medication. These medications should be started no later than 8 weeks of age. The American Heartworm Society recommend year-round preventative even in the northern states that experience cold weather and snow. The reason for this is that mosquitos are starting to adapt to cold weather more and some even survive during winter in homes. The intestinal deworming benefit of these products also plays a part in the recommendation of their year-round use. Please contact your veterinarian to discuss this topic further and to see what preventative is right for your pet. For more information on this topic, please go to .

Dan VanSteenkiste DVM
Happy Birthday Brian!

Brian Pylar is one of our Detroit Pit Crew Board Members and is also Chief of Eastpointe Animal Control. Brian's 29th birthday is May 29th and he is using his special day to raise money for our rescued dogs. We are grateful for all his hard work. If you want to donate towards his Facebook birthday fundraiser please click on the link below!
If you are interested in placing an ad in our monthly Crews News newsletter please contact m . All proceeds from ads go directly towards our exorbitant veterinarian bills for our rescued dogs. We are grateful for your support!
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Special thank you to our amazing supporters!
We couldn't rescue without you!