Stories conflict on what exactly happened to Harvey, but we know that on a car ride with his family he ended up outside of the car, with the car still moving but still attached to the leash which was inside the car. Witnesses said he tried and tried to keep up, but the car just kept going and eventually Harvey’s legs gave out and he couldn’t keep up. He was dragged for what witnesses report was approximately half of a mile, screaming for his life. His family didn’t stop. They said they didn’t notice. Animal control in the town finally got custody of Harvey. They tried their best but didn’t have the funds needed to care for his extensive wounds. They were worried that he would become septic and knew that they could definitely not afford skin grafts that they were told may be needed. Hearts United for Animals agreed to help Harvey, who was signed over to us and taken immediately by the nice animal control officer to the nearest Blue Pearl veterinary specialty center. Harvey is receiving wonderful care. Despite losing a large portion of skin on his front legs and rear he is loving and ever so grateful. He had an operation to clip, clean and debride the wounds. As he weaned down on his pain meds all he wanted to do was to be held and give kisses to his veterinarian and the vet techs at the hospital. They GUSH about what a wonderful, sweet little love bug Harvey is. He hasn’t been out of their loving arms for a moment since he arrived. Harvey will likely be released this week into an HUA foster home in Michigan. He will return to Blue Pearl every 48 hours or more often as needed to have his bandages changed and and wounds checked. Many thanks to the wonderful ACO who fought to help save Harvey’s life, HUA superstars Riki and Kim who helped arrange for his treatment, transportation and care, the wonderful staff at Blue Pearl, and Barbara in Michigan who is excited to foster Harvey during his long recovery. If you would like to make a donation to help Harvey please click here.
We recently received a call from Dr Hord of Val Verde Animal Hospital in Lavista, Nebraska on behalf of his client Ron, and his dog Kehotay. Ron is deaf and blind. Kehotay, his guide dog, is at risk of losing one of his eyes. Because he is Ron’s eyes this was particularly dreadful news. Dr Hord has been working diligently to save Kehotay’s eye, but unfortunately the Pigmentary Uveitis (common to Golden Retrievers) was advanced when caught because Ron was not able to see the signs.
Ron is on a fixed income and is having trouble affording Kehotay’s ongoing care, even though Dr Hord is deeply discounting the visits. Kehotay is not just Ron’s seeing eye dog, but also his best friend. When we heard the news we agreed to help by asking you if you would contribute to help save Kehotay from the debilitating glaucoma that will develop without ongoing care.
Everyone at the animal hospital is pulling for Ron and Kehotay. Ron has a helper at home who administers medications and makes sure that Ron and Kehotay get to the clinic for follow up visits. We are accepting contributions to help Kehotay see an eye specialist in Omaha.
Kehotay, a Golden Retriever with a heart of gold, hopes that you will please help so that he can continue to assist his beloved person for a long time to come. Click here to visit our donation page.
The scene was shocking. Thirty three dogs arrived in wire crates in the back of an open pickup truck bed. They had been on the road for nearly two hours in temperatures just barely over 30 degrees with cold rain pouring down on them as they made the terrifying journey to the meeting spot that the puppy miller had designated. The rescuers were appalled. The dogs were shivering, cold and completely panic stricken.
As they were loaded into the van to complete the last six hours of their journey to HUA, rescuers turned up the heat, comforted them and wrapped them in blankets. They began to note nearly every dog had some medical condition. Teeth were horrible, mammary tumors on nearly every female, a mangled ear, possible pregnancies and pyometra infections of the uterus, spinal deformities, jaws deteriorating, eye and ear infections, long nails, painful skin from lack of grooming, and several who are grossly obese.
Upon arrival at the shelter rescuers noticed that dear little Cindy Lou’s legs were not working properly. She is currently undergoing evaluation at a veterinary hospital. First reports are that she has a mass on her brain stem. She only has half strength in her legs and often does not know where her legs are. The mass is causing mixed signals to her body which effects her colon and bladder. It is likely inoperable. Despite the bad news, Cindy Lou is so happy to be rescued. She has been dancing around with her strange little gait and showering caregivers with kisses since she was rescued. The veterinarians say at this time she is not in pain. If not adopted Cindy Lou will be welcome to live out her days as a Sanctuary Sweetheart at HUA, where she will be warm, happy, loved and well cared for by the staff and volunteers.
Dear little Gloria’s jaw is so weak and deteriorated that it is barely holding together. She is at the veterinary hospital with Cindy Lou. Gloria also has a genetic defect, no doubt passed on to all of the puppies she churned out for sale at pet stores, that causes her jaw to be shorter than average and her teeth not to line up. It makes it hard for her to eat. Today she will have an operation to remove all of her teeth, which are painful, rotten and infected from the years of neglect. It will be precarious because her lower jaw is hanging on by a thread.
Brandy and Candy will be starting their New Year diet immediately. They are grossly obese from years of being locked in a small wire cage with no exercise at all and being
fed cheap fattening food that was very bad for them. It is a wonder they are still alive with all the stress that the extra weight is putting on their bodies. Candy weighs in at 50 pounds and should be closer to only half of that. When John at HUA saw these poor girls he immediately made arrangements to move them into a large condo unit with big spaces inside and out to run and play. They are so obese that they may need to have some extra skin removed when they get down to normal weight.
These precious thirty three dogs will have much to overcome as their bodies and hearts heal from the years of abuse and neglect they suffered at the puppy mill. Their team of dedicated caregivers and veterinarians will make sure that each precious soul is given every opportunity to thrive as they experience comfort and love for the first time in their lives. Their veterinary bills are anticipated to exceed $25,000.
Without your heartfelt support we could not help dogs like Cindy Lou, Gloria, Candy, Brandy and their newly rescued friends. Your contributions help to rescue them from lives of misery and sorrow and build their bodies and spirits, giving them lives they never dreamed possible.
Visit our Facebook page to see the pictures of the dogs as they were rescued and as they arrived at HUA. We will post updates as we learn more from the amazing veterinarians and caregivers who are working so hard to save their lives.
Thank you for supporting the newly rescued puppy mill dogs. Your care and concern means the world to them.
After months of recovery Juan is expected to survive. This dear little Chihuahua was rescued by Hearts United for Animals from one of the most filthy, horrific puppy mills in Nebraska. He had a sore on his side and his ribs were misshapen. Initially the veterinarian thought that Juan had caught his side on wires or sustained the injury from dog fights at the puppy mill. He has been on multiple types of antibiotics, but nothing was helping, the infection was becoming worse. This week Juan made a trip to the Iowa State Veterinary Hospital where it was found that his infection was from a contaminated microchip that the breeder inserted. It migrated and the infection spread throughout his body as the chip moved. The surgeons at Iowa State performed deep tissue surgery, removing a large amount of infected flesh. Juan stayed in intensive care there for several days. He has just been released and is staying with Erica, an adopter of HUA dogs and employee of the veterinary hospital. In addition to Juan’s infection it was also found that he had three broken ribs from a blunt trauma injury he sustained at the puppy mill, veterinarians said either from being kicked or hit with an object. His ribs healed poorly and calcified making them twice the size that they should be. There is no way to fix it, it will be a permanent condition. His lung x-rays showed bright spots that veterinarians felt was from inhaling a chemical reacting agent at the puppy mill. That will also remain a permanent condition caused by neglect at the puppy mill.
Despite all of Juan’s issues he is one of the brightest, happiest, most adorable fellows we have ever met. He knows he is being helped and appreciates the support of the caregivers and volunteers at HUA and Iowa State. His caregivers describe him as sweet, innocent, and undemanding. He adores attention from the people. A soft stroke, a hug and a kiss mean so much to him. He has an amazing spirit to have endured all he did for so many years and still be so forgiving of humans. Although his body is damaged and broken, his heart is telling him that life is just beginning, and he is so happy about that. The smallest things mean so much to him; a soft bed to sleep in after years living in harsh conditions on filthy wire cage bottoms, good food and clean water, and most of all people who care deeply about him and express love and concern. He is finally able to rest peacefully and comfortably. Reports from Erica on Juan’s first night at her home where he is staying for several days to finish his recovery were that he was sleeping comfortably next to her on the couch, enjoying watching his first movie, while having comfort and care. He was smiling with relief to have his burdens lifted and soul soothed. Juan will soon be back at HUA, where he will be available for adoption. Our wish for Juan is to find a wonderful home with a family who will spend every day adoring him, caring for him and helping him make up for all of his lost, desperate years at the puppy mill. If you are interested in learning more about Juan please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions for his surgery and care can be made online at www.hua.org.
Juan’s story has struck us to the core and shattered our hearts. His fight to survive steels our resolve to help continue the fight against puppy mills and the pet stores who peddle the puppies of the sick, forlorn, abused and neglected parent dogs who are prisoners of their greed. Mountains of evidence have been presented to the county attorney and Nebraska Department of Agriculture, and yet nothing is done to shut down this house of torture. The abuse has been ongoing for years. The puppy mill is listed on the Horrible Hundred by HSUS, as well as a top offender by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Nebraska’s answer has been to strike deals with the puppy miller, downsizing her from 400 dogs to 300, then 200, and now hoping that she can care for less than 100. HUA’s stance is that if she had only one dog she would likely not care for it properly. She has proven over and over again that the business of selling the offspring is all she cares about. The dogs should be seized and she should be shut down for good. For residents of Nebraska, voting counts. Knowing the candidates stance on puppy mills and if they will continue the same old dirty, devious ways of protecting the breeders and their buddies in appointed offices, or if they will have the integrity to do what is right by the dogs is particularly meaningful right now as November approaches. HUA and other animal welfare agencies cannot endorse candidates, but we can and do encourage you to conduct research before casting your votes. Please think of Juan and encourage your friends never to buy puppies from pet stores, and to help fight the legal and moral issues surrounding the plight of thousands of suffering dogs. Juan is just one dog, but he is one mighty little fellow who has a powerful story to tell regarding greed and corruption in this state. Collectively animal loving voters in this state are a huge voice, one that can effect change for the animals. Please help be a voice for Juan.
Catherine was found out wandering. She was abandoned, starving and left to die. She was taken in by kind strangers who tried to nurse her back to health. Unfortunately she was very ill and the people who found her did not have the resources to care for her. When they called Hearts United for Animals for help they said that Catherine had not kept down food or water for at least five days. She was skin and bones. When she arrived at the HUA veterinarian’s office they said she was at least 30 pounds underweight. She was treated for parasites and slowly reintroduced to food. As she was still struggling with gastrointestinal issues and making frequent trips back to the veterinarian’s office for more tests, it was discovered that she was also pregnant. That was a terrible diagnosis for a girl who was skin and bones and still having trouble eating, but HUA staff members did everything they could to keep her going. She was moved to a foster home for round the clock care. During the last few days before she gave birth she became gravely ill and was rushed to Urgent Pet Care in Omaha where she spent the weekend on antibiotics and fluids for pneumonia and dehydration. Specialists were consulted and additional x-rays were taken to find out if there was a deeper cause for her inability to keep food down regularly.
Just as phone calls were being made and x-rays were being sent around the country for review, Catherine gave birth to seven fat, happy, healthy little pups. Against all the odds they were just fine! The nutrition Catherine had been able to keep down had gone directly to the pups.
As Catherine was starting to nurse her new babies, requiring even more of her precious resources, the call came in with a clue as what her main medical issue might be. A radiology specialist thought that her esophagus was constricted, resulting in food not passing easily. It was suggested that Catherine be fed in an upright position with special canned food blended with equal parts water. Her foster mom is feeding her every two hours and Catherine now is happy with the routine of putting her paws up on the table top and lapping the food out of the bowl. She also holds Catherine up in a vertical position for several minutes after each feeding to make sure the food has a chance to pass into her stomach. Last week Catherine and her pups made the trip to Omaha for more tests where it was determined that the esophagus constriction is indeed severe. When filled with food the upper part of her esophagus turns into the size of her heart and the part where the constriction is located is so small it is barely visible. It is like a funnel. Surgical specialists are reviewing her case to see if she is a candidate for an operation. They feel that it may be caused by a persistent right aortic arch, a rare genetic defect. Catherine is thought to be four years old. Most dogs do not survive this long with that condition. She cannot undergo more tests for definite answers until the puppies are weaned and her pneumonia is completely cleared up. The good news is that she has kept all of her food down for over a week. Because of the new feeding arrangement she should no longer aspirate food into her lungs, which is what caused her pneumonia.
If Catherine is not a surgical candidate she will likely do fine with a special chair made for megaesophagus dogs (a condition similar to Catherine’s). A company called Bailey Chairs 4 Dogs is already making one especially for her that they are donating at no cost. This will mean no more eating off of the table while standing upright or having to be held upright after she eats.
We will keep you posted on Catherine’s condition as we know more. We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone who has donated to help Catherine and to the Bailey Chairs 4 Dogs company. Catherine’s expenses have been and will continue to be high, including 6 cans per day of prescription canned food that she is on right now while she needs extra nutrients for herself and the puppies, and special supplements and antibiotics as well. Donations are still being accepted for her online by clicking here. If you are interested in adopting Catherine or one of her puppies please email email@example.com. They won’t be ready to go for several weeks but they would love to have reservations lined up for wonderful homes!
Please enjoy our Youtube video of Catherine and her dear babies. She is a wonderful mom. She and her babies send you all their love…
Bodie is a gorgeous, happy four year old Golden Retriever. He always had a small cyst on his chest/neck area and the veterinarian said it was no big deal. But two weeks ago it suddenly grew to the size of a baseball overnight. Bodie’s temperature spiked, he wouldn’t eat and was very lethargic. His elderly owners took him to an urgent pet care facility. His human mom is on disability and his human dad has terminal cancer. They only had $200 to their name. That would not even be enough to get Bodie through the night much less get him the ongoing care and operation he would need. They thought they were going to have to have him put to sleep that night as their only option to relieve his suffering. After the veterinarian recommended a call to HUA Bodie was soon started on an IV with fluids, antibiotics and antiemetics. Bodie spent a week in the animal hospital recovering from his infection. The cyst is on Bodie’s jugular vein so the operation will be very delicate. He just started eating again and was released to go home. His family was so very grateful to have their boy back. He is one of the only bright spots in the lives of a dear elderly couple who are suffering so much. Bodie is not yet well enough for surgery. He will have follow up visits, blood tests and more biopsies before he is ready for that. A very skilled surgeon was found who will perform the operation when Bodie is ready. The costs are being covered by Hearts United for Animals. Updates on Bodie will be posted on our Facebook page.
Bodie and his family send their deepest gratitude for your support that is helping to save Bodie’s life.
Yet another South Dakota puppy mill is closed for good! Breeders near the North Dakota border contacted HUA because they had less than 10 days to be off of their property before they were evicted. Rescuers from Hearts United for Animals drove 1,000 miles to rescue the 69 dogs at the facility, trying to get there and get out quickly before a terrible blizzard hit. When the door to the facility opened the rescuers were knocked back by the stench. The dogs who were not shaved down were so matted and filthy that the crud hung off of them in dreadlocks. Many had skin raw from infection. Several eye infections and injuries were noted as well as hernias and one of the worst mammary tumors we have ever seen. One of the Dachshunds was missing a rear leg. Another Dachshund had been butchered during a c-section to try to remove a “water baby” from her belly. She had a hernia as well as bruising over her entire underside from the botched c-section where she was “cut from stem to stern”, according to the puppy miller’s own account.
This is one of the worst cases of suffering that HUA has seen recently. It is not uncommon, but always startling and very sad. This rescue reminds us of the importance of spreading the word about walking away from pet stores. If there were no demand for the cute little pet store pups there would be no need for supply, and puppy mills would all go out of business as this one did. We are winning the war on puppy mills. Education is paying off, but there is still great need. Although many puppy mills are out of business many more are still operating with dogs in similarly bad condition if not worse. Please spread the word. The parents of pet store puppies are suffering and dying every day. Boycotting stores that sell puppies is the best way to cripple this industry of pure greed.
To donate for the extensive medical needs of these 69 dogs please click here to go to the Hearts United for Animals donation page. Please share these dogs’ YouTube video with your friends and family to let everyone know of the suffering of the parents of pet store puppies.
Since January 1st, 2014, Hearts United for Animals has rescued 117 dogs from 2 puppy mills in South Dakota that just closed their doors for good last week. Rescuers battled 50 below wind chills, white out conditions and a vehicle malfunction as they made several 12 hour trips to rescue all of the dogs. Other groups stepped up to help, taking in 32 of the 117 dogs. For the remaining 85 dogs at Hearts United the vet bills are anticipated to near the $20,000 mark. Farrah, pictured here, has had eye infection for so long that she has permanent vision loss. She will see the eye specialist this week.
The dogs were all so filthy that rescuers nearly fainted at the smell. The white dogs were yellow and even after many baths the staining cannot be removed. A bath for one dog can be a several day project to chip away the caked on mess between their paws, trim their nails that are curled under so badly that they can barely walk, and shave all of the caked mats out of their fur. Some cannot emotionally handle too much grooming at one time, so employees and volunteers work with them a little each day to get them cleaned up.
Poor Charlie Girl is having emergency hernia surgery this week. She gave birth to litter after litter of puppies in the filthy, deplorable conditions at the mill until her body gave out. Many of the dogs are suffering from severe dental disease, some with only one dangling, rotten tooth left. The ones with the most severe dental disease are emaciated. Every rib can be felt on their fragile little bodies because their mouths hurt too badly to eat the kibble provided for them at the puppy mill. They are ravenously lapping up their soft canned food at Hearts United for Animals. There have been several cases of ear mites and other parasites causing the dogs to scratch so much from the distress that they have wounds on their ears and bodies.
Even though Toulouse was suffering, he still kept an eye out on his little Chihuahua pal, Berto. He has not left his side since they were rescued. He wants to make sure that his pal is protected and safe, knowing he is very shy and afraid, and is also in pain due to his severe dental disease.
If you are interested in adopting one of the recently rescued dogs please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have adopted from HUA before there is no need to fill out another application. You can also help by sending this email on to friends and co-workers to help find happy homes for the dogs at HUA and raise funds for their extensive medical needs.
Sanctuary Sweethearts, Turner and Rascal, are best friends. They call Hearts United for Animals home and are so happy that they can live their lives together at HUA. Turner was rescued from a puppy mill in Iowa where he was beaten with a shovel causing permanent back injury. He can walk, but his back is hunched up in a v shape. He is also blind. Rascal was rescued from a puppy mill in Nebraska near the Wyoming border. The puppy miller swung him in the air by the scruff of the neck while he screamed in fear for his life. He lived in a crate filled with hay with only a light bulb dangling overhead for warmth. All of the dogs rescued were young, as the older ones had already perished the extreme heat, cold and lack of veterinary care. It has been years since Turner and Rascal were rescued. They understandably have not ever developed an appreciation of humans. They are so fearful that they have to be sedated for even a routine veterinary examination. The happy news is that they love and adore one another. Rascal is Turner’s seeing eye dog. He is very protective of his little Dachshund pal. When people come near them he sits close to Turner to protect him. They snuggle in their warm blankets on their bed in their apartment at HUA. They have a heated and cooled inside space and access to their own private yard through their dog door. They love to romp around and play together, with Rascal always on guard duty, watching to see who is out and about and ready to lend comfort to his best friend if needed.
While their stories are sad, the life they now lead at Hearts United for Animals is the perfect for them. They are allowed the freedom that they need to finally know peace in their hearts. They can live life on their own terms with everything that they need, especially one another. It is a huge commitment to care for these two special needs fellows for life, but one that HUA is willing to make in order to provide them with a happy place where they can be free, content and well cared for forever.
Please visit their Sanctuary Sweetheart pages to sponsor one or both of these dear boys, or any of the other Sanctuary Sweethearts at HUA. Your caring and support means the world to them. As a sponsor you will receive a packet in the mail with a photo and bio of your Sweetheart and a refrigerator magnet so you can look at your Sweetheart every day and know that you are giving the gift of life and love to your special needs friend.
Late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve two gentlemen came to the HUA shelter to report a beautiful dog lying in a field in a pool of blood, unable to move. They tried to pick her up to bring her to Hearts United for Animals for help but she would not let them come near her, giving them warning signals that she was in pain and did not want to be touched. HUA employees followed them to the field where they found her 30 feet from the railroad tracks. She was unable to walk and although she wanted help she also did not want to be touched. John from HUA was able to gently convince her that he was there to help and would be very careful with her. She had a laceration under her eye and her back legs were very painful. She stopped at the HUA shelter to have an injection of pain medication and was then on her way to Urgent Pet Care in Omaha. It was found that this beautiful girl had three breaks in her pelvis with not much left of her sacrum. She was kept comfortable at Urgent Pet Care over the holiday and then transferred to Mobile Animal Clinic in Omaha where Dr Merkley, an orthopedic specialist, was called in to evaluate her. Although he knew it would be a very difficult operation he was willing to try. The surgery happened a week later after swelling went down, nerve damage assessments had been performed, and her lacerations and mouth injuries were attended to. Because of her facial/jaw injuries she had to be syringe fed for nearly two weeks.
To commemorate her late day New Year’s Eve rescue she was named Eve. Eve’s operation was lengthy and difficult. She spent a week recovering on heavy pain meds and has just returned to Hearts United for Animals where she will spend the next eight to ten weeks completing her recovery. She is now able to eat soft people food on her own, with chicken and hamburger being her favorites. Eve had many special visitors and gifts sent to her during her two week stay in the veterinary hospitals in Omaha. People were kind enough to cook her food, send her plush toys and blankets and stop by to wish her well. We are not sure what type of dog Eve is but it has been suggested that she may have some Irish Wolfhound in her background, or Scottish Deerhound. She is three years old and after her recovery is complete will be looking for a special family to call her own. We will continue to assess her needs as she recovers to see if she will be able to do stairs or if a ranch style home would be best for her. If you are interested in adopting Eve please email email@example.com. Donations for Eve’s care and recovery can be made online by clicking here. Your support makes success stories like Eve’s possible. Eve sends many thanks from the bottom of her heart to everyone who has helped to care for her and save her life.