Hounds hit the track for heartworm prevention

Cross Timbers Animal Guardian Society’s Dog Jog, education event set for April 30




ERATH COUNTY (April 15, 2016) – It has been reported in all 50 states. Heartworm disease causes severe lung issues, heart failure, organ damage and death in pets.

April is Heartworm Awareness month. And Stephenville-based, no-kill animal rescue organization Cross Timbers Animal Guardian Society (CTAGS) is organizing its 3rd Annual Dog Jog and 3k to raise funds to fight the disease and spread awareness about heartworms.

The dog jog, which is set for 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at Jaycee Optimist Park, benefits the animals rescued by CTAGS that have tested positive for heartworm disease.

“We have seen the devastating effects of heart worms on animals, and we know that it’s 100 percent preventable,” CTAGS the Communication Coordinator Katlyn Gast said. “Our goal is to raise funds for our rescues and to also educate the public about having pets tested for heartworms, types of treatment and prevention methods.”

CTAGS graphic

The parasite is transmitted by mosquitos and is especially prevalent in Texas. There are 100 or more cases in some areas of the state, where almost 1,800 cases have been reported this year, according to Gast.

During the event, heartworm testing will be provided by Green’s Creek Veterinary Clinic and the pre-vet club from Tarleton State University educate the public about heartworm prevention and treatment.

The 3k is open to all ages. Participants can run, jog or walk. Pets are welcome, but must be on a leash at all times.

The pre-race registration fee is $10 per person, and the entry fee is $20 on race day.

On-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at Jaycee Park and the race begins at 9. Prizes will be awarded for the top three runners.

“We are also encouraging everyone to download the free app ‘Wooftrax,’ which raises money for our organization each time someone logs in and walks their dog, to use during the race,” Gast said. 

Meanwhile, the rescue organization is calling on vendors for the event. “We are in serious need of vendors and sponsors,” Gast said. “We have about 30 more spots open but we are open to accepting more vendors. There is a $50 vendor fee.” 

Representatives of Heather’s Pet Grooming, Kipling’s Creations, Osbourne Books, Young Living Essential Oils, It Works, Wylie’s Woodworks, Younique Products, Scentsy and Stella & Dot have signed up to promote their products and services. Vendors selling furniture, feed bag purses, clothing and more are also expected to attend. Memory Lane Desserts, snow cones and food from Crawford’s Deli will be available for purchase. 

Race and vendor registration forms are available on the CTAGS website, where fees can be paid via PayPal. Visit ctagsanimalrescue.weebly.com and click on the Dog Jog 2016 tab.


CTAGS was founded in 2011 and has since rescued more than 10,000, according to Gast, who said the organization is always looking for support. 

“The best way for the community to get involved would be to become a foster, volunteer at our adoption events, donate dog/cat food and supplies and participate in our dog jog,” she said. “We are always looking for foster homes, and we are able to provide everything the foster needs. Fostering is usually temporary – or until we can find the rescue a permanent home.”

Currently, CTAGS has about a dozen dogs placed in foster homes. The organization has about 15-20 fosters who also provide support to other rescue groups.  Four board members, including President Jessica Dudley, Vice President Storie Gadberry, Treasurer Charlene McDonald and Gast, who serves as secretary, oversee CTAGS operations.

And the nonprofit has made a considerable impact over the years.

“Since 2011, we’ve also grown to have thousands of supporters and followers,” Gast said.   

For more information on the dog jog and other upcoming events or to become involved with CTAGS, email ctagsanimalrescue@gmail.com or call (409) 276-PAWS.

You can also find information about making a monetary donation to the nonprofit organization and volunteer opportunities on the CTAGS website, ctagsanimalrescue.weebly.com.

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