VIDEO: HUA Rescues 19 Rock Stars from Lancaster Puppy Mill

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On April 15th, Hearts United for Animals rescued 19 dogs from miserable conditions where they had lived for years in a Lancaster County, Nebraska puppy mill.  Most of them were underweight, and all have medical issues due to severe neglect.  All of the dogs were so happy to be rescued.  They delighted in the comfort given to them by their rescuers.  They enjoyed their clean new spaces and wonderful soft food.  They lapped up their fresh, clean, abundant drinking water – something they had been lacking.

Rescuers decided that these dogs are definitely rock stars!  They came through their ordeal with such happy, positive attitudes, looking forward to their much improved new lives.  They survived, they endured, and they will become loved family members after all of their medical work is done.  Stevie Nicks, a tiny little female Brussels Griffon, was the happiest of all.  Even though she suffered from a plethora of painful conditions including a hernia, ulcerated and infected eyes, infected ears and a luxating patella, the first thing she did was to dance around the room greeting everyone with her stubby little tail wagging like crazy.  Rachel, her new caregiver at HUA, hugged her tight and assured her that every day will be a happy one from now on, full of love, goodness and hope.

As of today, Janis Joplin, a Schnauzer who was so filthy and entangled in mats that she could barely walk or see, is in the maternity ward at HUA awaiting the arrival of the last litter of pups this poor soul will ever have to give birth to.  Her health is poor.  Her mouth is horribly infected and she has a bad hernia as well as a heart condition.  Everyone was devastated to learn she was pregnant.  It means she will have to wait until after the puppies are born to have her medical conditions attended to properly.  It also puts her at huge risk for complications.  She is strong though, and continues to gain strength every day due to the good nutrition she is receiving now that she is at HUA.  She has been groomed and feels like a new dog.  Her start to a happy, healthy new life is a bit behind the others due to her pregnancy but the veterinarian caring for her is hopeful that she will come through it well.  Janis and Stevie and their friends are perfect examples of the tremendous suffering the parents of pet store puppies endure month after month and year after year.  These dogs lived in piles and piles of excrement with little food, little water, little veterinary care and obviously no regard whatsoever for anything other than the number of puppies that their broken down bodies could produce.  Please share their story with your friends and let them know that dogs like this will continue to suffer as long as the public continues to buy puppies from pet stores and on the internet.

As the newest rock stars of HUA continue to survive and thrive in their loving new environment filled with comforts they have never experienced before, they invite you to view the uplifting video of their arrival:

 

8 Dogs Rescued from Nebraska Puppy Mill

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Meet Kylie.  She is one of over 10,000 dogs that Hearts United for Animals has rescued from puppy mills.  The puppy mill that Kylie was rescued from was located right here in Nebraska, not far from Omaha.  She did not have a name.  She was only a number.  She did not ever have a bath or a haircut.  The mats on her face were so bad that by the time she was rescued she could not even see through all of the snarled fur.  She lived her entire life in a cage, her feet never touching grass, receiving no love, never getting to experience the simplest pleasures of being a dog.  Her only purpose was to churn out puppies to be sold to pet stores.  She has scars from c-sections and had horrible ear and mouth infections.

Kylie was rescued the day after Valentine’s Day.  When she arrived she cowered in a corner, afraid to be touched by humans.  After her first bath and grooming she became a new dog.  She danced with delight at how wonderful she felt.  She couldn’t believe the big new world in front of her that she could actually see for the first time in years!  She clung to her rescuers, showing her gratitude and adoring every moment of being loved and comforted.

Her friends the Elkhound puppies who were rescued with her are terribly afraid of humans.  At only 5 months old they don’t expect that people will be nice to them.  Mason pup can barely walk.  He hobbles along in pain as both of his back legs are very deformed.  His brother Lamar is a little better, but along with Mason will need expensive orthopedic surgery in order to lead a normal pain free life.  They will be given that chance because of Hearts United for Animals and our wonderful supporters.

Please remember Kylie and her friends when you see those cute puppies in the pet store.  Buying those cute little puppies keeps puppy mills in business and ensures that the parents of those pet store puppies will continue to suffer for years and years.  You have the power to stop puppy mills.  Please do not support stores that sell puppies.  Use your wallet to send them the message that no matter how cute those puppies are, the lack of care that their parents endure in the mass breeding facilities is not acceptable.

Please visit www.hua.org to learn more about puppy mills and to visit Kylie and her 400 friends at Hearts United for Animals who are available for adoption.  You can also make a donation to help Hearts United for Animals mission to shut down puppy mills and rescue and rehabilitate dogs like Kylie, Mason, Lamar and their friends.

Video: 13 Dogs Rescued from Thurston County

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Hearts United for Animals rescued 13 dogs from horrible conditions in Thurston County yesterday.  They were living outdoors in piles of feces.  They were starving, full of worms and dehydrated because their water dishes were too frozen to get a drink.  The cages were made of makeshift wires and latches were bailing wire.  One very precious little staghound named Laurel is having an emergency amputation of her tail today because it was so badly injured from the cage wires and infected from the filth.  The HUA veterinarian feared she would die of infection if they did not operate immediately.

The dogs, mainly staghounds, greyhounds and coonhounds, were being bred for hunting.  Rick Herchenbach from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, the Thurston County Sheriff and the Thurston County Attorney all did a marvelous job of following up on complaints and worked very quickly to make sure the dogs were able to be rescued immediately.  HUA rescuers worked to carry the dogs on ice, through dead carcasses of smaller animals to get them to warmth and safety in their travel crates in the HUA van.  They were taken immediately to a veterinarian where they are all having thorough check ups and receiving wonderful care. We also wish to thank KETV and Action 3 news in Omaha for reporting the story to help raise funds for their care.  HUA anticipates that the veterinary bills for these dogs will be in the thousands.  Donations can be made online at www.hua.org.

Without support from the public HUA would not be able to rescue dogs like these who so desperately need us.  Thank you for always being there to make sure that dogs in need can be rescued and receive the care they need.  Please pass on their story and watch the video taken at the scene yesterday.

A Very Special Night for Noah

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On Thursday morning Hearts United for Animals received an email with a picture of a lonely, starved white Boxer.  He had been held for several weeks in a small town pound pending the trial of an abuse/neglect case.  The pound had no indoor space, only outdoor pens.  Our hearts broke when we realized this dear boy had been out in the blizzard the night before.  But the good news was that the case had ended, a plea had been reached and he was free to go to rescue.  A local family heard of Noah’s plight and drove him two hours on the icy, snowy roads to safety at HUA.  Noah huddled in the car with their daughter Kristin for the first warmth and comfort he had ever known.  He arrived at 6:00 p.m. Thursday night.

John, who has worked at HUA for 10 years, said that he has not ever witnessed a dog in this bad of condition who was still alive.  When Noah arrived he was weak, but his tail wagged with gratitude.  He quickly gulped down several cups of food and soon settled into a pile of comforters that John warmed up in the dryer for him.  John says that Noah is very sweet, all love and affection.  He is skin and bones and has sores from severe parasite infestation.  Scars were found on Noah’s neck and front legs, where we think he was bound with rope, possibly used as a bait dog or being trained to fight.

Friday night was the most special night of Noah’s life.  Noah is 4 years old, and it was his first night ever spent indoors.  His rescuers chose the name Noah for him because it means peace, rest and comfort, which Noah has been granted for the first time in his life.

Noah will have a long road ahead in his recovery.  Most dogs would not have survived this far, but with excellent veterinary care, good food, comfort and love at HUA, we are hopeful that Noah will soon be plump, healthy and available for adoption to a family who will make up for all of the bad things that have happened to him.  Most dogs take for granted that they will be loved, have a warm place to sleep and food to keep them healthy and strong.  But Noah will never take his new found comforts for granted.  He will always be grateful, because he knows what it means to do without, to barely survive, holding onto hope that there might be something better if he can just hang on.  That something better has come for Noah.  This is a new beginning, one he will treasure always.

Please watch the lovely YouTube video that Noah’s young rescuer made for him about his journey to HUA –

 

 

If you would like to help Noah on his journey to recovery please consider a donation for his care.  Donations through the end of the year will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous donor.  Also, if you mention Noah in the comment section of the donation form you will be entered into a drawing that will be held on Dec 31st to receive an 8×10 custom pet portrait by Terry Stanley, a wonderful artist who was very moved by Noah’s story.

Thank you for your support.  Please check our Facebook page for updates on Noah.  Our volunteers are planning a very special Christmas dinner for Noah and his pals at HUA.  We will post photos on Facebook for everyone to see Noah’s very special Christmas.

 

HUA Saves Squirrel and His Pals from Nebraska & South Dakota Puppy Mills

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Squirrel was rescued from a Nebraska puppy mill.  He is three years old and weighed in at only 2 pounds.  Hearts United for Animals rescuers could not believe how little he was and that he was not a puppy.  Even though he was underweight and in pain from horrible infection in his mouth he still squirmed and giggled and played like a pup.  He was so happy, and so relieved to be rescued.  He could not believe his good fortune.  Squirrel had to gain some weight and have antibiotics before he was strong enough to have his mouth treated.  He is a voracious eater and it didn’t take long.  He now weighs in at 2.5 pounds, which will be close to his ideal weight.  At his first vet visit this precious boy lost 22 teeth.  That should not ever happen with a dog so young, but little Squirrel is the product of poor nutrition and lack of vet care at a puppy mill.  This dear boy holds no grudges though.  He recovered quickly and feels so much better now that he is well cared for at Hearts United for Animals.  Every day he showers his rescuers with kisses and runs and dances with delight at all of the love and care he has found at HUA.  He is a fearless, happy, fun little fellow who will be so excited to have a forever home.

Thirty other dogs were arriving at the same time as Squirrel, all from Nebraska and South Dakota puppy mills.  The South Dakota rescue took place late at one frigid night.  The situation was critical and the dogs had to leave immediately, so rescuers left the comfort of their own warm homes to bring the dogs to warmth and safety.  Many of the new mill dogs were in as bad or worse condition as their little pal Squirrel.  Most were happy, but some were still too sad and afraid to believe their new good fortune.  Little Frank Sinatra, a Pomeranian with striking blue eyes, was the most afraid.  He wants to trust us but is still working on it.  He is a gorgeous young fellow who breaks our hearts every day.  He needs more time, but we will reach him.  Many of the dogs were older and their bodies were giving out from being bred over and over, but with excellent vet care at HUA, good nutrition and love they are recovering.  Two little Japanese Chin pups were thrown out by the puppy mill at only 8 weeks old.  One of the little fellows has an extreme underbite making him undesirable for sale to pet stores and the other dear little one cannot use one back leg at all and the other is weak.  Once he grows strong enough HUA will provide operations at a specialist for both of his back legs in hopes that he will be able to walk normally.

Squirrel enjoys being the greeter to the new dogs arriving from mills, helping us to let them know that their lives have changed for the better and that brighter days have arrived.  He and all of his pals thank you from the bottom of their hearts for helping them to heal physically and emotionally from all of the suffering they have endured for years.  This will be a very Merry Christmas for 30 dogs who just a few weeks ago were held prisoner in rusty wire cages, suffering from neglect by humans.  You have made it possible for their bodies to be warm and free of pain, and their hearts to be happy this holiday season.  Visit the album below to see all of these dear souls who will be celebrating a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year at HUA.

Even more exciting news, if you donate before Dec 31st to help with the expenses for these dogs and future rescues, your donation will be matched by a generous donor!  Please take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to help animals in need.

 

HUA Rolls out Fix Omaha! FREE Spay/Neuter Services

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Hearts United for Animals is excited to announce a new FREE spay/neuter program for low income families in the Omaha metro area.  Through grant funding provided by the Yahoo Employee Foundation we will be able to provide 60 free spay/neuters and provide vaccines as well.  Hearts United for Animals will also help with wellness examinations and other immediate needs through our emergency medical fund.

There are several great low cost options in Omaha, but we have found that the very neediest of families could not afford these options.  The calls that we receive about unwanted litters of puppies, many of whom contract parvo and need thousands of dollars of life-saving medical care are heartbreaking, and easily preventable.  Depressed areas of Omaha will now have access to free spay/neuter services to prevent this tragedy from occurring.  We will walk the families through the process and let them know all of the benefits of spay/neuter.  In addition to helping decrease the numbers of animals euthanized in shelters each year due to overpopulation the altered animals will reap both health and behavioral benefits.  Spay/neuter decreases the likelihood of uterine, mammary and testicular cancers – deadly cancers that take the lives of more than 50% of the animals afflicted.  Families will no longer have to deal with females in heat.  Males will be less aggressive, less destructive and less likely to roam far from home.  Children will be taught the responsibilities of pet ownership, and that the miracle of birth is no miracle at all when 3 to 4 million pets are dying in shelters each year because there are not enough homes.

We wish to continue the program after the first 60 surgeries are performed.  If you would like to donate to keep the program going now is a great time to so because every donation made now through the end of December 2012 will be matched up to $100,000!  For the amount of $5,000 we can spay/neuter 60 more dogs, and hope to be able to expand to cats as well.  Please put “Fix Omaha” in the comment line of your donation.  Donations can be be made online by clicking here or checks can be mailed to Hearts United for Animals PO Box 286  Auburn, NE  68305.  If you would like to help distribute flyers in the Omaha area please contact lori@hua.org.

Thank you so much for your support, which enables us to save lives and prevent suffering.  Many thanks also to Mobile Animal Clinic in Omaha who is partnering us on this very special mission of mercy.  As always, the HUA low cost spay/neuter clinic in Auburn continues to operate each Wednesday, with over 10,500 animals altered to date.  Clients are welcome from any city or state and all animal types are accepted.  The HUA Clinic number is 402-274-3679.  The Omaha number is 402-990-3005.

A Puppy Story, Rescue of 10 Dogs Soon Turns into 22

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Nine dogs were rescued from a hoarding situation in southeast Nebraska.  One dog was rescued from a city pound in Iowa.  It all seemed like typical days at the shelter until we realized that Bally, rescued from the hoarder home, and Joy, rescued from a pound in Iowa were just days away from giving birth.  As all of the new rescues settled in Joy and Bally began preparations for the arrival of their babies.  Joy, a small mixed breed girl resembling a border collie, was first to deliver 5 lovely babies.  From the moment Joy was rescued she had the biggest smile on her lovely face.  Everyone was completely smitten with her.  The birth of the little ones went without complication and she and the babies soon moved to a foster home where they are enjoying themselves tremendously and receiving wonderful care.  Just days later, Bally, a mixed breed resembling a jack russell terrier, began giving birth to 7 lovely babies, each so unique and different in color.  Mom and babies all did well and are at the shelter rooming right next to the office in a large space with many snuggly blankets.  Bally was underweight from the bad conditions she came from but she is now enjoying her endless buffet of good food at HUA.  She gets to go for walks several times a day on the shelter grounds which she loves, but she is always anxious to get back to her sweet little babies.  She is very protective of them and such a good mom.  Like Joy, she has a constant smile on her face.  She is such a dear girl who is so happy to be rescued and have a warm, loving place to take care of her pups.

Joy’s babies were named by our Facebook fans.  All of their names mean happiness and joy.  They are Bliss, Felicity, Freude, Kiyo, and Khushi.  Bally’s Lucky 7 babies will be named after casinos in Las Vegas, as was Bally.  The best news of all is that Joy has been adopted by her foster mom!  Once the pups are old enough they will be on our website for adoption.  We are sure Bally will have adoption offers in no time as well, as she is one of the sweetest, most intelligent, fun little dogs we have known.  She will need to stay to finish out her mom duties for several more weeks before she can be adopted.  Both she and Joy will be spayed and all of the pups will be spayed or neutered before they are placed, because while darling puppies are more fun than a barrel of monkeys, it is not something that we wish to have happen ever again.  These moms and babies deserve to have lives of luxury in wonderful homes where they will not contribute to the overpopulation problem or have the stress or health problems associated with breeding.  We will make sure that happens for them.

If left at the city pound in Iowa Joy and her unborn babies would have been euthanized.  If left in the hoarder home Bally would have given birth in such filthy conditions that it would have been unlikely for her babies to have survived.  We wish to extend sincere thanks to all who helped in these rescues and especially to our supporters who help us save lives whether it be 1, 2, 10, 22 or 100 at a time.  To Joy, Bally, their 12 babies and the other 8 rescued from the hoarder home, your support means the world.  You have helped us to save their precious lives.  Donations for their care can be made online at www.hua.org.

New Billboards Help To End Puppy Mills!

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Hearts United for Animals is spreading the word – End Puppy Mills!  To us it is personal.  Every day we see the damage that puppy mills do.  We take in the parents of those cute pet store puppies and witness first hand the tragic results of the confinement and neglect.  There are as many as 10,000 puppy mills operating in the US today.  The majority of them are in our own backyard, with Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska being the top puppy mill states.  Many of them have hundreds of dogs confined in horrible conditions, often with the dogs living on wire floors for their entire lives, their feet never touching grass.  Some have dangerous makeshift climate control, but others have none at all causing the dogs to freeze in winter and swelter in the summer.  The parents of pet store puppies are confined for years with no healthcare while they are bred over and over.  They arrive with hernias, mammary tumors, heart conditions and broken jaws caused from severe dental infections left untreated, as well as damaged eyes, intestinal parasites, lice, and patellas that luxate so badly that some cannot walk at all.  During one recent rescue volunteers found a frog living in the fur of a little Pomeranian.  She was so badly matted that her back paws got stuck in her fur and she tore her knees out of their sockets trying to free them.  She required operations on both knees and is going through several weeks of recovery to be able to walk again.  A sheltie who had no fur on her face, just raw infected skin, was also rescued that day.  They were both recent mothers who to the breeder existed only to make puppies for profit.  Hearts United for Animals has rescued over 10,000 dogs from puppy mills, each with similar stories.  Our dream is that one day we will not need to exist, that puppy mills will be out of business.  There is only one way to accomplish this and it is to educate the public not to ever buy from a pet store.  One Omaha pet store tells the customers that the puppies come from a farm in Iowa.  It is not a lie.  They do.  Those farms in Iowa are puppy mills and the conditions are more atrocious than the puppy buying public could ever begin to imagine.  The parent dogs suffer grave physical and emotional harm.  Visit our friends at Iowa Voters for Companion Animals to see those farms.  The same exists in Missouri as well as Nebraska.  The dogs who are rescued are very fortunate.  Many times when the dogs are no longer productive they are shot, clubbed over the head or thrown in pens to starve to death.  We know that this is not ok with the public, but that many don’t know that these conditions exist.  That’s why our new billboards on I-80 and 84th St in Omaha are delivering the message to over 80,000 cars passing by each day.  There is only one way to really stop puppy mills, and that is to educate the public to stop buying from pet stores.  If there is no demand there will be no need for supply.  You can help end puppy mills by telling your friends “Don’t Shop.  Adopt.”  Let them know why.  Let them know what the parents of these pet store puppies endure.  Encourage them to visit our website to learn more and read the stories of the rescued puppy mill parents for adoption at HUA.

With the help of our friends at Bozell and world famous photographer David Radler, three designs featuring HUA shelter dogs for adoption were chosen to be displayed throughtout the month of Septemeber:

Click here to donate to the campaign so that the billboards can come back in December, one of the biggest puppy buying months of the year.  If you would like to bring the billboard campaign to your area please write to lori@hua.org.  Our friends at Bozell were very passionate about this project and donated weeks of their time and many resources to help us spread the word.  Please drop by their Facebook page and thank them for their dedication and hard work on behalf of the dogs.  To learn more about the puppy mill rescues at Hearts United for Animals please watch this special video message from James Lipton:

Hemi’s Heart Was Broken – But She Is Healed And Ready To Go, Go, Go To A New Family!

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Hemi was turned into Hearts United for Animals by a family who realized that she would grow too big for their landlord to accept at their apartment.  She had been given to them by someone else at the age of only 5 months, perhaps a backyard breeder.  As soon as Hemi arrived we realized she was lethargic for a puppy and we were able to feel the blood coursing through her heart valve under her arm.  We knew that was drastic and took her to Omaha to be evaluated right away.  Hemi was diagnosed with Patent Ductus Arteriosus, which is an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart that did not close after birth. It is the worst case that we have seen. Without surgical treatment, over 50% of dogs pass from heart failure within one year.

Mobile Animal Clinic in Omaha recently upgraded their equipment and facilities to be able to accommodate major surgeries that used to have to be performed at K-State or Iowa State.  Dr Merkley came in to perform the operation with the help of Dr Ellis Jensen from Mobile.  It is a very delicate operation with much opportunity for the worst to happen, but luck and skill were on Hemi’s side and she came through it better than the surgeons even imagined that she would.  That night Hemi walked into the Animal Emergency Clinic on her own for overnight observation.  She spent another week at Mobile being monitored but she let everyone know that she felt great and was ready to go!  Dr Jensen said that within a day of her operation it was like flipping on a switch. Hemi had found high gear.  She leapt around the clinic showering the staff with hugs and kisses.

Hemi had a long recovery of rest and confinement at HUA, which she did not appreciate, but toys and regular visits made it easier on her.  She really just wanted to run and play.  Hemi is now fully recovered and is running and playing like a happy young Labradoodle should be.  She loves her tennis balls, loves to play with her teddy bear and adores walks with the people.  Hemi says enough of shelter and hospital life, she’d like a family asap!  She should have no lasting effects from the operation.  She is good as new and ready to go, go, go!

Hemi’s operation cost $4,000 and we wish to thank all of the dedicated supporters who make it possible for Hearts United for Animals to provide these life saving operations when needed.  It means the world to us, and it definitely means the whole big wide world to Hemi who will soon be off on the best adventures of her life.  Click here to donate to our medical fund so that we can stand ready to help more dogs like Hemi who so desperately need us.  For adoption information please write to tera@hua.org or click here to visit Hemi’s adoption page.

37 Dogs Rescued from Horrible Conditions in South Dakota

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A sheriff of a small town in South Dakota called one of our directors, Julie, who is also involved with Almost Home Canine Rescue, about 30 Pomeranians who were starving with no water. They were living in a patch of noxious weeds taller than people. The owner had planned on shooting them, but she was allowed to willfully surrender them. It was very difficult as many had to be caught with catchpoles. Many were so afraid that their only response was to bite – many completely feral.

30 Poms were caught, along with one cat who did not survive. The cat was on top of a doghouse unresponsive and covered in flies.  He was humanely euthanized upon arrival at the Animal Emergency Clinic in Omaha.  Working in the heat and filth caused some rescuers to get sick. Newborn pups were found under boards with the mother eating a dead bird. There was no food or water on the place. Julie said it was one of the worst things she has ever seen.

Fifteen of the dogs were transported immediately to Hearts United for Animals. The other dogs went to Almost Home Canine Rescue in South Dakota and Brookings Humane Society in South Dakota.

Two days later the sheriff’s department went back with Julie to check to make sure no animals had been hidden.  They found 6 more Pomeranians and a Sheltie who has mange so badly that her face is open and raw.  One of the Poms is pregnant and due to give birth at any moment.  They had been hidden at the very back of the property in weed patches.  One of the Poms had fur so terribly matted that a frog was living in it.  The Sheltie and 2 of the Pomeranians came to Hearts United right away.  The pregnant one is staying in foster care at Almost Home Canine Rescue in South Dakota.

To make a donation for the 18 dogs in the care of Hearts United for Animals, text GIFT to 20222 to make a $10.00 donation or you can make a donation online at www.hua.org.  They will have extensive medical needs.  So far we have found abcesses from injury and bad teeth, pyoderma infections on some of their faces and bodies, patches of vermin living on their skin under their coats that were so badly matted, circulatory problems from having fur tangled around their legs rendering the legs unusable, and we anticipate more to come once all of their vetting is done.

Please check out our Facebook page for updates on the dogs and to sign an online thank you card for Tim, Nicole and Roger – the sheriffs who worked so diligently to make sure these dogs were saved from an awful fate and given the chance at wonderful lives.  Thank you so much for your support.  Your contributions allow us to rescue and care for dogs from horrible situations like this.

 

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