Testing Every Rescue

In 2007, a rescue dog, Max, presented us with our first case of Chagas disease. Although Max succumbed to the disease, his death launched us on the journey to find a cure.

Thirteen years later, the tables are turning. Tracy’s Paws Rescue is the first (that we know of) rescue organization to test incoming dogs for Chagas disease. Located in Hondo, Texas, Tracy’s Paws rescues dogs with pending euthanasia dates from shelters across the state. Dogs are rehabilitated and rehomed with loving adopters across the country.

“In 2020, we lost several dogs to sudden death,” said Tracy’s Paws founder, Tracy Voss. “Necropsies showed Chagas disease. We were devastated. We had never seen this before in the 10 years we have been rescuing dogs.”

The Tracy’s Paws team immediately began educating themselves about Chagas disease. Today, they have implemented an education program on the disease and treatment protocol for staff, volunteers, and adopters. And every dog coming into the program is tested—and treated if necessary—for Chagas. Chagas-positive dogs remain in their care and under treatment for 45 to 60 days before becoming adoptable. During this time, they are monitored by the vet and started on medications. Adopters must agree to continue treatment for 12 months and are provided with care instructions and information for their veterinarian.

Here’s a big shout-out to Tracy’s Paws and the fabulous work they do for dogs! Watch the video.