The Heartworm Foundation was founded in 2013 by animal rescue volunteers who recognized that heartworms present a significant barrier to adoption for animals in our public shelters. The costs involved in treating this disease dissuade people from adopting, and other non-profit animal rescue organizations from rescuing dogs with heartworms. The Heartworm Foundation was created to raise money to help with these costs so that these deserving animals could find their way to their forever homes.
Brody was our very first Thankful in 2017, now living the good life in New England.
Board of Directors
Ashley Thourot, President
Ashley found her love of rescue at a young age, rescuing her first rescue dog “Pixie” from a sad little shelter in Uvalde, Texas in 1999 (and having her for 15 years after that!). Upon moving to the Montgomery County area in 2005, she began volunteering and fostering for MCAS. Seeing the struggle of shelter dogs in Texas has driven her to try and help these animals in any way possible. Ashley has fostered for several local rescues, and even done a few independent rescues. Through all this time, she began to realize what a red flag heartworm disease can be for some adopters, seeing dog after dog passed over because of their heartworm positive status. The disease is also quite a financial burden on rescues, and this led her to want to become involved and help grow The Heartworm Foundation.
Tara Tennant, Vice President
Louis Goldstein, Treasurer
Louis is a software developer by training and trade, and only got involved in animal rescue in April of 2015 after adopting a dog from the Montgomery County Animal Shelter and seeing all the dogs in need. He started by walking shelter dogs, and moved on to fostering dogs for Operation Pets Alive! (OPA). Now, in addition to fostering some of the more challenging shy dogs, he also produces OPA's Animal Shelter Count statistics, helps identify and clean up problematic data, automates previously manual processes to make OPA's data team more efficient and effective, and helps set up equipment for OPA's adoption events.
Betsy Hollan, Secretary
Betsy has been involved in rescue since the 1980s where her first rescue dog was acquired from a kill shelter in Houston. Her rescue efforts are not limited to dogs as she rescued her first emaciated horse around the same time. Since then, Betsy has been involved in the rescue of shelter and community dogs and horses working independently and with several rescue groups for over 30 years along with her husband.
Betsy's commitment to animal welfare is not limited to her personal life, but professionally as well. Betsy has served the community for over 10 years as a law enforcement officer and has been involved in several animal cruelty investigations.
Her most recent association with Operation Pets Alive as a foster for several dogs (including several nursing moms with litters) with heartworm disease increased her awareness of how common this disease is and how many dogs are missing out on the opportunity for a forever home as a result. Armed with this awareness and a desire to help, Betsy became involved with The Heartworm Foundation.