One Tail at a Time: Heartworm Disease Program


Chicago animal rescue One Tail at a Time (commonly known as “OTAT”) prioritizes its rescue and support programs for vulnerable populations of shelter pets. In 2019, the organization was able to grow its heartworm program significantly thanks to the James Banks Foundation’s generous support. Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease that’s estimated to affect more than 1 million pets in the U.S. each year. If left untreated, the disease can cause severe lung disease, heart failure, and damage to other organs in the body (Source: American Heartworm Society).

With grant support from the James Banks Foundation, One Tail at a Time was able to rescue, fully treat, and find loving homes for more than 100 shelter dogs that tested positive for heartworm disease in 2019.

One Tail at a Time rescued 975 pets in 2019, and aims to rescue 1,500 in 2020 with the opening of its first in-house veterinary center, The Ellis Clinic. As of 2020, One Tail at a Time hosts:

-A bustling dog adoption program at its Adoption Center in Bucktown
-An Isolation Program focusing on Chicago’s dogs
-A Kitten Team that cares for neonate kittens
-Vaccine clinics in low income neighborhoods throughout Chicago

One Tail at a Time also leads the Chicagoland Rescue Intervention & Support Program (“CRISP”), which keeps pets intending to be surrendered at the city shelter with their loving families.

To learn more about or support One Tail at a Time’s programs, please visit


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