Encouraging Responsible Pet Ownership

Wags 4 Hope holds pet responsibility crafts where children learn how to properly take care of their pet through a fun activity!

Helping Shelter and Rescue Animals Across the Country

With each animal I capture on canvas, I envision the one in need that I am helping.

My Story

How It Began:

My family began searching for three years through countless pet stores, shelters, newspapers, and private dog breeders for a loving and loyal friend. Our search happily ended when my family was searching the Internet and stumbled upon a two-year-old shaggy dog that had been rescued from a high-kill shelter in Houston, Texas.
Teddy was saved by Houston Shaggy Dog Rescue. At his veterinarian check up, it soon was discovered that he tested positive for heartworm disease through an antigen test. Teddy had to be given two injections of arsenic and remain in a crate. He had to be inactive and carefully monitored for a couple of months. The treatment for heartworm disease is very expensive and difficult to recover from. It can also be potentially toxic to the dog’s body and can cause serious complications, such as life-threatening blood clots to the dog’s lungs. Treatment is very expensive because it requires multiple visits to the veterinarian, with the process of blood work, and X-rays. The cost ranges from $600 for a small dog to $2,000 for a larger dog. High kill shelters do not have the time or funds to treat these heartworm positive animals.
It broke my heart to learn that my dog had endured great pain. I researched further, and learned that heartworm disease can result in severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and even death. Heartworm is caused by a parasitic worm, Dirofilaria immitis, transmitted from mosquitoes. The worms are called “heartworms” because they live in the heart, lungs, and other blood vessels of an infected animal. In the United States, heartworm disease is highly prevalent in the south. However, they are present in all fifty states. 
Since heartworm treatment is expensive, and there is a chance that your pet may not survive the treatment, preventatives are a great solution. These products require a veterinarian’s prescription. The use of preventatives depend on your location and your dog’s health. Please talk to your veterinarian about the best way to protect your pet.
Having learned the devastating effects of heartworm from my loving companion, I seek to educate pet owners across the country about the importance of prevention. Wags 4 Hope also works to encourage responsible pet ownership and help raise funds for shelter and rescue animals’ medical needs. I cannot imagine my life without Teddy. His wagging gives me hope that so many other animals can be saved. 



My Paintings

 About my Artwork

I love painting dogs and cats. I thought it would be a great idea to sell my artwork to benefit shelter dogs and cats in need. I work with acrylics and watercolors.

Photo: Brian A. Pounds
Photo: Brian A. Pounds


It is $45 for an 8×12 painting of one animal and $60 for two animals in one painting (prices vary with requests for smaller or bigger canvases and more animals)

If you are interested in my artwork please email me at wags4hope@gmail.com for more information

Shipping is separate, since Wags 4 Hope is a non-profit organization 

Here are some samples of previous paintings:








Recent Painting Donations from Wags 4 Hope:

  • Donated a painting to the Mayo Clinic’s new children’s cancer wing to help brighten the patients’ days
  • Donated a painting to the Danbury Animal Welfare Society’s Making a Difference Ball to raise donations to support their shelter
  • Donated a painting to the Noah’s Light Foundation’s Laughter Heals event to raise donations to support pediatric brain cancer research
  • Donated a painting to the 4th annual Somerville Dog Festival’s Silent Auction to help promote happy and healthy pet ownership
  • Donated a painting to the SPCA of Westchester’s Top Hat and Cocktails Gala’s Silent Auction at the Ritz-Carlton in White Plains, to celebrate and raise funds for the animals at the SPCA of Westchester
  • Donated a painting to the Yale- New Haven Children’s Hospital to help brighten the cancer patients’ days
  • Donated 50 of my dog paintings to the Pet Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in Norwalk, CT, for their 50th anniversary of their annual “Paws in the Park” fundraising event

Satisfied Customers

Here are some pets next to their portrait!















Television, Legislation Videos, and Radio

“Everyday MVP by News8 and Frontier Communications” (WTNH News8)

“Wags 4 Hope” (WTNH News8)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Connecticut Style TV Show)

“Wags 4 Hope” (NPR’s Dog Talk®)

“Heartworm Disease Bill Public Hearing” (CT-N)

“Fairfield Teen Using Her Talent to Help Shelter Dogs” (AOL)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Pet Radio Show)

“State Representative Hwang and Annie Discuss Heartworm Disease” (Tony Hwang)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Better Connecticut TV Show)

“Hometown Hero” (News 12 CT)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Pet Life Radio)

“Annie and Teddy on Pet Talk”  (News 12 CT Pet Talk) 

Magazines, Newspapers, and Blogs

Check out where Wags 4 Hope has been featured and read some of my pet articles!

“My Mentor” (Crain’s Connecticut)

“A Shaggy Dog Story” (New York Minute)

“Helping Animals” (Woman’s World Magazine)

“We Catch Up with Annie Blumenfeld, a Teen Advocate for Animal Health” (Dogster)

“Fighting the good fight against heartworm disease in dogs” (Shake Paws)

“Wags 4 Hope Founder Uses Biz Smarts and Art” (Like a Boss Girls)

“Here’s Why Adopt a Shelter Dog Month is So Important” (Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls)

“To Eat or Not to Eat” (TownVibe)

Wags 4 Hope y la lucha contra la Dirofilaria immitism” (LaOtraRealidad)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Good News Network)

“Teen Raises Awareness of Heartworm and Medical Funds” (Women You Should Know)

“This Teen Will Paint Your Pet to Save Other Animals’ Lives” (Points of Light)

“Wags 4 Hope” (GenerationOn)

“Preventing Heartworms in Dogs” (Dogs on Deployment)

“Q & A With the Founder of Wags 4 Hope” (Wondermint)

“Teen Advocates for Heartworm Disease Awareness” (The Bark)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Good Morning America)

“Wags 4 Hope” (FIDO Friendly Magazine)

“Anti-heartworm youth ‘in it for the pets'”  (Connecticut Post)

“Taking Control of Heartworm Disease in Dogs” (Sandy Robins Online)

“Young Woman’s Art is Saving Dogs’ Lives” (The Dodo)

“High School Student’s Mission to Raise Heartworm Awareness a Success” (Examiner)

“Young Pet-caso Paints for a Cause” (The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Sheltering Magazine)

“Teen Succeeds In Changing Dog License” (Vetstreet)

“A heartwarming story” (Animal Tales Magazine)

“Wags 4 Hope” (American Lifestyle Magazine)

“Teen’s Inspiring Mission Will Melt Your Heart and Brighten Your Walls” (Pet Guide)

“Annie Blumenfeld & Wags 4 Hope” (Dog Gone Art Magazine)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Fairfield Magazine)

“Wags 4 Hope” (SPCA International)

“Teenager Becomes Heartworm Hero” (DogChannel.com)

“High School Student Takes Heartworm Awareness to State Legislature” (Pet360)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Fashion Institute of Technology)

“Young Leader Annie Blumenfeld & Wags 4 Hope (The Pet Matchmaker)

“A Matter of the Heart” (PETS Magazine in Canada)

“April is Heartworm Awareness Month!” (StubbyDog)

“April is Heartworm Awareness Month” (New York Daily News)

“Teen Raises Awareness About Heartworm Disease” (Vetstreet)

“Kids Making an Impact” (The Mom Connection)

“Heartworm Awareness Month” (Fidose of Reality)

“At 16, Annie Raises Money for Heartworm Treatment” (Good Things Going Around)

“National Heartworm Awareness Month” (Mutt-i-grees)

“Straight Talk on Heartworm Disease” (Examiner)

“A Girl’s Heartwarming Business That’s Saving One Dog at a Time” (RIZZARR)

“Dog Heartworm Awareness Gets Local Support” (Fairfield Sun)

“Connecticut Student (and Her Dog) Behind Bill on Heartworm Prevention” (Connecticut Magazine)

“Heartworm Awareness” (Connecticut House Republicans)

“High School Student Takes Heartworm Awareness to Her State Legislature” (Examiner)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Dogs Life Magazine in Australia)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Connecticut Humane Society)

“A Herald for Heartworm Prevention” (Dog Fancy Magazine)

“Heartworm Prevention Makes Tails Wag!” (Animal Wellness Magazine)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Dog’s World Magazine West Africa)

“Teen Uses Art to Tackle Heartworms” (Cesar Milan’s Cesar’s Way Magazine)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Dogs Unleashed Magazine in Michigan)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Mutt-i-grees)

“My Mission is to Eradicate Heartworm in Dogs” (Dogster)

“Annie and Teddy Spread the Word About Heartworm Disease” (1800 PetMeds Blog)

“From One Heart to All” (American Heartworm Society)

“Wags 4 Hope” (Teen Ink)

Educational Flyer

In light of April being National Heartworm Disease Awareness month, I created and designed an educational flyer, which I had spread to all 50 states, parts of the UK, Australia, and West Africa. I did this by contacting animal welfare organizations, animal friendly corporations, and universities. It was truly incredible to be able to share my story, and communicate my mission personally on the phone to hundreds of pet owners. Each heart on the map below indicates where my flyer has been.

Each heart indicates where I have shared fliers



You can follow Teddy on Tumblr where he reminds you

to give your pet their monthly heartworm disease preventative, AND you

can hear all about Teddy’s adventures!



Wags 4 Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All of the proceeds received from my artwork go directly to benefit shelter animals to fund their medical needs. Wags 4 Hope accepts monetary donations and animal goods (toys, food, blankets, etc.) If you are a company that would like to donate, you will receive a special shout out on the Wags 4 Hope Facebook page and your name featured below alongside other donors. Please send me an email if you can help in anyway.

Some of the shelters and rescues that I support:




Get in Touch