Greater Good Charities and Boehringer Ingelheim Kick Off Fourth Year of Good Flights Program and Celebrate Successful Transport of More Than 12,800 Shelter Pets to Adoptive Homes Including Nearly 1,300 Asymptomatic Heartworm-Positive Dogs

“Save a Heart” Initiative Provides Second Chance to Thousands of Vulnerable Shelter Dogs Living in the South

Seattle, Wash., April 08, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In honor of Heartworm Awareness Month, Greater Good Charities, in cooperation with Boehringer Ingelheim, the maker of NexGard® PLUS (afoxolaner, moxidectin, and pyrantel chewable tablets) flea, tick, hookworm, roundworm protection and heartworm disease preventive and HEARTGARD® Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel) heartworm disease preventive and the treatment and control of roundworms and hookworms, kicks off the fourth year of the Good Flights program. This program has successfully transported more than 12,800 at-risk shelter pets from the South to new homes on the East Coast and in the West. That number includes nearly 1,300 asymptomatic heartworm-positive dogs as part of the Save a Heart initiative, which aims to reduce euthanasia in overcrowded animal shelters by preventing heartworm disease in shelter dogs. To kick off the fourth year of Good Flights, a special transport of more than 45 shelter pets will take place on April 8 from Louisiana to the East Coast. 

“It is truly amazing to know that in three years, Save a Heart, a life-saving initiative of our Good Flights program, has provided thousands of at-risk shelter dogs in the South with a second chance and a new home where they can flourish,” said Liz Baker, CEO of Greater Good Charities. “Our work with Boehringer Ingelheim, the maker of NexGard® PLUS chews and HEARTGARD® Plus chewables, is a testament that with the right care and treatment, this disease does not have to result in tragedy for these pets.”  

Boehringer Ingelheim, the maker of NexGard® PLUS chews and HEARTGARD® Plus chews, covers medical costs and provides the necessary product to treat asymptomatic heartworm-positive shelter dogs. Air and ground transports for Good Flights occur approximately five times a month and many have Save a Heart pets on them. In addition to the nearly 1,300 asymptomatic heartworm-positive dogs being relocated to safety, thousands of heartworm-positive shelter dogs that were not transported received medication in Louisiana and Alabama via the Save a Heart initiative, saving even more lives.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: NexGard® PLUS (afoxolaner, moxidectin, and pyrantel chewable tablets) is for use in dogs only. The most frequently reported adverse reactions include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and itching. Use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures or neurologic disorders. Dogs should be tested for existing heartworm infection prior to starting a preventive. For more information, click here for full prescribing information, call 888-637-4251 or visit

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: Following the use of HEARTGARD® Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel) in dogs, digestive and neurologic side effects and pruritus have been reported. All dogs should be tested for heartworm infection before starting a preventive program. For more information, click here for full prescribing information.

Participating Save a Heart shelter partners in Louisiana and Alabama include Iberville Parish Animal Control, Lafourche Parish Animal Shelter, St. Charles Parish Animal Shelter, St. Martin Parish Animal Services, Cara’s House, Lafayette Animal Shelter and Care Center, Save a Pet Rescue, Adoption & Transport, Jefferson Protection & Animal Welfare Services, and Terrebonne Parish. Participating Save a Heart receiving shelter partners in New Jersey, Florida, Idaho, and Pennsylvania including founding partners Humane Society of Broward County and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center along with Char Wills German Shepherd Rescue, Idaho Humane Society, and Lake Lowell Animal Rescue.

Asymptomatic heartworm-positive shelter dogs transported via Save a Heart receive initial medication, in accordance with the recommendations from the American Heartworm Society, prior to transport. The Greater Good Charities’ Good Flights team works in concert with veterinary teams to select candidates that are positive for heartworm disease and are not showing clinical signs of the disease, which qualifies them for transport. Upon arrival at their destination shelter, the heartworm-positive shelter dogs are ideally placed into foster or adoptive homes to complete heartworm treatment and post-treatment monitoring until they test negative.

“The Good Flights Program and Save a Heart initiative represents a remarkable collaboration between Greater Good Charities and Boehringer Ingelheim,” said Dr. Julie Ryan-Johnson, Senior Associate Director - Shelter Engagement Program, Boehringer Ingelheim. “This program is not just about transporting pets, it's about giving heartworm-positive dogs a second chance at life, and it's making a significant difference in reducing euthanasia rates in overcrowded shelters.”

Good Flights is staffed with trained and seasoned animal welfare transport professionals who adhere to best practices in pet transport. Good Flights covers transport costs, provides mentorship, pharmaceuticals, and furnishes much needed supplies including pet crates, bowls, and leashes. Additionally, Good flights provides cash grants to Save a Heart shelter partners.

Good Flights is a program of Greater Good Charities that conducts life-saving airlifts and ground transport for at-risk pet populations with a heavy focus on asymptomatic heartworm-positive shelter dogs as well as disaster relief, homeless cats, and harder to place large dogs. All shelter pets transported via Good Flights will be handled in compliance with the USDA’s interstate regulations. Learn more at

HEARTGARD® and the Dog & Hand logo® are registered trademarks of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc. NexGard® is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health France, used under license. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owner. ©2023 Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. 
US-PET-0193-2024 ©2024 Greater Good Charities. All rights reserved.

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About Greater Good Charities 
Greater Good Charities is a 501(c)(3) global nonprofit organization that works to help people, pets, and the planet by mobilizing in response to need and amplifying the good. Greater Good Charities, with a Four-Star rating on Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal on GuideStar, has invested more than $650 million in impact, including cash grants, in-kind supplies, and programmatic support to charitable partners in 121 countries since 2007. To learn more about how Greater Good Charities is amplifying the good across the globe, please visit or follow Facebook, Instagram, X, YouTube, and TikTok.  

About Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA 
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health is working on first-in-class innovation for the prediction, prevention, and treatment of diseases in animals. For veterinarians, pet owners, producers, and governments in more than 150 countries, we offer a large and innovative portfolio of products and services to improve the health and well-being of companion animals and livestock. 

As a global leader in the animal health industry and as part of the family-owned Boehringer Ingelheim, we take a long-term perspective. The lives of animals and humans are interconnected in deep and complex ways. We know that when animals are healthy, humans are healthier too. By using the synergies between our Animal Health and Human Pharma businesses and by delivering value through innovation, we enhance the health and well-being of both.  


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