Parvo Puppy Update – Ready for Adoption!

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All of the puppies survived!  They are now fat, happy, healthy and having a great time playing and enjoying themselves.  They had their photo session last weekend and are now up for adoption.  They were nicknamed “The Bathtub Puppies” at Mobile Animal Clinic, where they spent a week recovering after they left the emergency hospital.  It was touch and go, as some would rally and then slip backward but against the odds every one of them has returned to normal health.  The total expense to Hearts United for Animals, not including their routine spay neuters and vaccines, was $5,200.  Donations for their bills are still needed.  It was a leap of faith that most rescues could not take on, but we could not turn our backs on them and we knew that our wonderful supporters would come through for the sick babies.  They are growing large, with big, well fed bellies.  Their eyes are bright and happy and their coats are soft and clean.  They love snuggling in blankies and playing with each other and with all of their new toys.  Many thanks to those who contributed and continue to contribute to help us save precious lives.  Justin, Jordan, Jonah, Selena, Sheldon and Spencer thank you and are forever grateful.  We also wish to thank the Animal Emergency Clinic and Mobile Animal Clinic in Omaha who worked tirelessly to save them.  These dogs journey from being left dying in a bathtub to being saved and restored to heath is one that took many hands and hearts working together.

Donations can be made online at or mailed to Hearts United for Animals PO Box 286 Auburn, NE  68305.

Please enjoy their “after” photos and help us spread the word that they are looking for wonderful families to adopt them!

HUA Saves Six Sick Puppies

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A call came in from Nyla, a good friend of Hearts United for Animals, and volunteer for Nebraska Dachshund Rescue.  She was very upset because she had encountered a family selling very sick puppies in the parking lot of a store in Omaha.  She begged them to turn the puppies over to her so she could get them help, but they would not.  She got their information and called HUA to see what could be done.  After a couple of days passed the people agreed to give up two of the puppies.  They came to HUA and Justin, a cute little red fellow, fell very ill with parvo.  He was rushed to the Animal Emergency Clinic in Omaha on a Friday night.  Soon after his arrival a call came in that a little pup who looked just like Justin had arrived at the Emergency Clinic with instructions to euthanize.  The clinic called us and asked if we would take over her care as they felt she could be saved.  We said yes, absolutely.  We then found out that she was rescued by a local group who could not afford her care and that she was in fact Justin’s sister.  They had one more boy who was also falling ill with parvo.  We agreed to take over his care and they brought him to the Emergency Clinic immediately.  While Justin, Selena and Jonah were being cared for Nyla and the other group were working to save two more.  The same family had been keeping a total of six puppies in their bathtub.  We had all but two of them, chocolate labs from another litter.  We convinced the family that since the others were ill the labs would soon be ill as well.  They agreed to give them up and met an HUA volunteer to hand them over.  They were lethargic and bleeding and were rushed right to the Emergency Clinic to be with the others.  As Sheldon and Spencer were arriving, Justin’s brother Jordan who had been at HUA for a few days fell ill and was rushed in as well.  That made a total of six sick puppies receiving emergency care in Omaha.  The entire isolation ward at the clinic was full with HUA pups.  They all received round the clock care with intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

On Monday morning they were all still quite ill.  It was touch and go as to whether they would survive.  Justin would rally and then fall again.  We were so frightened that he may succumb.  Jordan had a secondary infection causing an extremely high fever.  They were all transferred to Mobile Animal Clinic in Omaha where they would receive care for the entire week.  One by one each of them perked up and became healthy.  Expenses for this rescue were huge.  It was something most groups would not be able to handle, but we knew our supporters would rally and help to pay the nearly $5,000 that it cost for the week of care to save their lives.  Each of them are so very precious and we could not let them go without a fight.  Many pups don’t survive parvo and with the extreme lack of care they had in their 8 weeks of life so far it was truly a miracle that each and every one of the six survived.

We would like to extend our thanks to Nyla, the Animal Emergency Clinic and Mobile Animal Clinic for their tireless efforts to save them and also to our wonderful supporters.  Because of you these pups will have happy, healthy lives and be adopted to wonderful homes where they will be cherished and loved forever.

Help Pecan & Her Pals – Please Attend Our March 8th FUNdraiser At Soggy Paws In The Old Market

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For three years Pecan crawled using only her front legs to carry her.  She was held captive in a puppy mill, forced to breed over and over, even though she had such a bad genetic defect in both legs that she could not walk.  Fortunately for Pecan she came into our care here at Hearts United for Animals.  Pecan was evaluated by a specialist at Mobile Animal Clinic in Omaha who felt that he could give her 90% improvement in function and complete reduction in pain.  Pecan is now back from her big operation and is already a new gal.  She is so happy to be free of pain and is excited to be able to stand and take steps.  Her surgery cost $3,000.  She isn’t fully recovered yet, but she is well on the way to being a happy, healthy, loved companion for a very lucky family.

Several Omaha Old Market businesses heard Pecan’s story, and about the 47 other puppy mill dogs that we have rescued since January 1st, all needing extensive medical care.  They are pulling together to hold a super fun fundrasier for the puppy mill survivors at HUA.  Please consider attending.  We would love to see you and your HUA alums.

Here is the press release put out by our good friends at Bozell:

Old Market Business Community Rallies Together for Hearts United Fundraiser

(Omaha, NE, Feb. 13, 2012)—Meet a local author, sip wine and more in support of abandoned and mistreated animals—and bring your pet! Three Old Market businesses are coming together to host a fundraiser for Hearts United for Animals, a nonprofit animal shelter specializing in the rescue and rehabilitation of puppy mill dogs.

“We are grateful to the Old Market business community for its support in helping us build our mission to care for pets who need shelter and finding new, loving homes for them,” said Lori Hook of Hearts United for Animals.

The event will run 4 to 7 p.m., on Thursday, March 8, at Soggy Paws, located at 1401 Jackson St. The event is organized by Bozell, a Hearts United supporter and marketing partner.

During the event, Soggy Paws invites dog owners to come in to give their dog a bath, buy their furry friend a toy or treat and to check out the newly completed doggy daycare center. A percentage of sales will be donated to Hearts United. Readers are also invited to meet Omaha author and rescue dog owner Robin Donovan, and purchase their own signed copy of her debut novel Is It Still Murder, Even if She was a Bitch? A percentage from book sales will go to Hearts United. Wine lovers can sip on a selection from The Zin Room for $3 a glass, with $1 per glass going to Hearts United. Anyone and everyone can stop by to mingle and enjoy coffee and light hors d’oeuvres.

And most importantly, animal lovers can donate to Hearts United, learn more about the organization’s work for abandoned and abused pets, and learn how to adopt their next forever friend.

You can RSVP here on our Facebook event page or email to let us know you will be attending.  We would like to extend our deep gratitude to Bozell, Soggy Paws, Robin Donovan author of “Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch?” and The ZIN Room.  We are looking forward to seeing everyone on the 8th!

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Sanctuary Sweethearts at HUA

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Dulcea and her pals at Hearts United for Animals would like to wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day and thank you so much for your generous support that saved their lives and allows them to be happy as Sanctuary Sweethearts.  The Sanctuary Sweetheart program is for dogs who are not adoptable due to age, medical or behavioral condition.  Dulcea came from a horrible puppy mill in Nebraska.  Her eyes were so severely damaged that they both had to be removed to spare her further suffering.  When she came to HUA several years ago she was on death’s door, but today she is the happiest, spunkiest little ray of sunshine you could ever imagine.  She has a permanent foster home with Aunt Jean, who is Florence Nightingale and Mother Theresa wrapped into one for so many downtrodden, sick and forlorn animals who have come through our doors.  Jean talks to Dulcea all day so that she knows where to find her and feels comfort at all times.  Dulcea has surprised everyone by learning to hop into bed by herself and even do stairs.  She has been known to make special guest appearances at local events urging the public to adopt rather than buy animals from pet stores.  People say, “oh she must be tired, she is sleeping”.  When she is in her snuggle sac with Jean it looks as if her eyes are closed and she is napping.  Jean then explains that she isn’t sleeping, she just does not have eyes due to the abuse at the puppy mill.  We are sure that many people are now spreading the word to their friends about how the parents of pet store puppies are treated due to the special public appearances by our dear little Dulcea.

Dulcea has also been an activist in pet store protests.  Twice she came out to help HUA protest the Petland at the corner of 120th and West Center Road in Omaha.  This Valentine’s Day she is proud to announce success!  The Petland store closed for good this month…an amazing gift to the puppy mill dogs.  No longer will sick puppies whose parents suffer in large commercial breeding establishments be sold here.  We thank Dulcea for her efforts to help fight for those still suffering in the puppy mills.

From our Sweethearts to yours, we wish you a wonderful Valentine’s Day.  To learn more about Dulcea and her other Sanctuary Sweetheart friends please visit their special webpage.  For just $25/mo you can sponsor a HUA Sanctuary Sweetheart.

Missouri Puppy Mill Closes, Dogs Arrive Safely at HUA

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Another Missouri puppy mill is closed for good!  The dogs had just hours to be out before they were to be killed.  Hearts United for Animals spoke for the last of the dogs who had no rescue groups speak for them.  All were saved, and just in the nick of time.  Our good friends Kent and Alma from Midwest Wheaten Rescue saved the Wheaten Terriers and transported the remaining dogs to HUA.  We thank them for their tireless efforts to save these precious souls.  The group included Chihuahuas, Papillions, a Bichon, a Poodle, a Silky Terrier, a Yorkshire Terrier and two Dachshunds.  They were filthy and the smell was horrible.  The Bichon was in especially bad shape, unable to even see from all of the overgrown, matted fur.  That didn’t stop him from doing a happy dance and flashing us a big, grateful smile upon his arrival.  They will all have baths and grooming appointments soon.  We fear that one older Chihuahua girl may be pregnant.  She will see the vet first.  A ten year old dachshund fellow is reported to have injuries to his back in three places, but he too was full of excitement and happiness to arrive at HUA.

The breeder said that she could no longer stay in business because she cannot comply with the new regulations in Missouri meant to provide comfort and care to dogs in breeding facilities.  We are hearing this from many Missouri breeders who are going out of business.  They should be going out of business if they cannot provide the most basic of care and for that we are grateful.  We are hopeful that this is just the start of many more Missouri mill closings yet to come.  For the dogs rescued yesterday it is the start of a wonderful new life that they would not have been able to imagine.  Until yesterday all they knew were cold, filthy cages.  No love.  No vet care.  Just misery.  Today is the beginning of the rest of their wonderful, precious lives.

To contribute to the care of this latest group of mill rescues please click here to access our donation page or text to donate on our Facebook app.  We could not do what we do without you.

Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota Mill Dogs Get a New Start in the New Year!

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Twenty dogs will be having a very Happy New Year thanks to the efforts of Hearts United for Animals and Almost Home Canine Rescue. In late December Julie Lavin with Almost Home delivered Havanese, a Papillion and a little Cavalier King Charles puppy to start their new lives at HUA. The little Cavalier pup had surgery on both of his knees at a specialist in Omaha just after the New Year began. He is doing remarkably well and will be off to a wonderful new home when his recovery his complete. The Havanese are having the time of their lives enjoying socialization time with the volunteers at HUA.

Shortly after the arrival of the Iowa and South Dakota dogs several very tiny Chihuahuas arrived from a Nebraska puppy mill. The dogs were much too tiny and delicate to be bred, but they were anyway. Three pups were in the group and we are thankful that they will not grow up in a wretched Nebraska mill. Pecan, an older chihuahua girl, has back legs so deformed that she can barely walk, but that didn’t stop them from breeding her. She will see a specialist in Omaha this week to see if there is anything that can be done. She crawls mostly using her front legs to get around. The muscles on her hips are weak and oddly formed, probably from years of being unable to walk correctly. Despite her problems she is one very happy girl, just so joyful to be rescued! She and all of her friends will be provided with the best care that we have to offer. In the year 2012 we resolve to do all we can to educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills and rescue many more dogs who are so desperately in need.  Please help us help the puppy mill dogs by clicking here to donate toward their care.

Pecan – tiny Chihuahua girl with malformed legs

Lucky Looks Forward to a Great New Year!

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At first it seemed that if Lucky did not have bad luck he would have no luck at all.  He was found wandering and starving with a front leg injury.  He was clearly in distress but was happy to arrive at HUA where he was given wonderful meals and taken in for evaluation by a specialist for his leg.  Unfortunately the leg injury was old and the tendons had wrapped around, healing so poorly that they could not be repaired.  Lucky had to have a front leg amputated.  He did very well with the surgery and was a model patient.  He became a favorite at the vet clinic in Omaha where he spent several days recovering.  During that time his heartworm test came back and it was bad news.  Lucky is heartworm positive.  We were in despair over all this poor, adorable, loving boy had to go through and the tough road ahead.

When Lucky arrived at the vet he did not even have a name.  Our first concern was to get him care quickly.  Upon receiving the news about his heartworm diagnosis the vet said “well we just wanted you to know we have named him Lucky.”  We said really?  Why?  At first we thought it was a joke.  Dr Jensen then went on to explain that as the staff discussed it they decided that any dog who was in that bad of a situation, who turned out to be such a loving, happy dog in spite of all his troubles and found people who cared so deeply about him, loving him and wanting to heal him in spite of all his afflictions was actually pretty darn lucky.  We thought that was such a sweet sentiment that we decided Lucky would be his name.  All of the techs at the clinic continue to inquire about Lucky, the dog with such heart and spirit.  They want him to find a wonderful home, as they just can’t imagine a dog who deserves it more.  Lucky has had no trouble with his amputation.  When we went to pick Lucky up from the clinic he ran out to greet us, jumped up for treats and to show us his favorite bone that had been given to him as a gift by the clinic staff.  We could go on about what a great dog Lucky is, but we think the look on his face says it all.  He is happy and loved and that is all that matters to him.

Lucky will be going through his heartworm treatments and is scheduled to be done around Valentine’s Day.  He will have big piles of blankets to rest in while he recovers and people at the shelter to dote on him, which he completely adores.  Lucky is looking forward to a great New Year of happiness, healing and hopefully a home with a family of his very own.

View Our New Commercial About Puppy Mills

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Throughout the month of December, Hearts United for Animals will run 30-and-60-second spots on Animal Planet and Bravo in several major US markets as well as the Omaha and Lincoln area, including additional spots on the 10 pm news on KETV and WOWT.  We are so grateful to Mr James Lipton, of Inside the Actors Studio on Bravo, for delivering this powerful message.  He is an amazing talent and a kind, compassionate man of honor.  We would also like to thank Don Henley of The Eagles and co-writers, Steuart Smith and Timothy Schmit, for allowing us to use their song, “Do Something”.  Their kind words and enthusiasm for the project are so appreciated.

Another big name star of the show is Telly, a 12-year old bald, blue, paralyzed Dachshund who was rescued by HUA from a horrible Nebraska puppy mill.  Telly is in the 60-second version and also will be featured in an extended version in the works now.  We appreciate his taking time from his busy schedule to accommodate our videographer’s request.  Telly was glad to show all of his friends and fans how well he is doing with his new family, Noelle and Bob Buscher of Elkhorn, Nebraska.  If he could talk he would say “Who loves ya baby?” just like his namesake who is also a famous television star.

Without our dear HUA supporters, Riki and Jerome Shaw, these commercials would not have been possible.  Riki recognized the need to spread the word about puppy mills and the important mission of HUA.  After visiting HUA, it became her dream to inform as many people as possible about the horrors of puppy mills and to help raise funding for HUA so that we can continue our mission of mercy to save thousands more puppy mill dogs while working to end the atrocity of puppy mills forever.  Riki has traveled extensively visiting shelters and assisting with rescue efforts throughout the United States.  She says that her heart remains with HUA and it has become her life’s mission to create awareness about what an exceptional place it is both in facilities and dedication.

Our friends Matt Bross and Chad Eacker at Delinea Design in Omaha worked day and night to write the scripts and bring it all together and our friends Kevin Hutchison and Karissa Tomsen at Bozell in Omaha lent their expertise in purchasing and placement as well as final details.  We are so excited to see this project come together and are hopeful that the text to donate campaign will result in funding that will enable us to rescue and restore many, many more dogs who are living lives of misery and neglect in puppy mills.

Fern and Her Pups are Thankful for YOU! And Willow is Too!

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The phone rang for two weeks about Fern.  She was running stray in a small town near the shelter.  She was very pregnant and was hungry and afraid.  Nobody could catch her.  When we went to look we could not find her.  Finally, a little more than a week before she gave birth we were able to rescue Fern.  From the moment she arrived at the shelter she was happy, relieved and very grateful for our help.  We made a big nesting place for her and fed her as much as possible knowing she had a tough job ahead of her.  She was kept near the office so that we could keep a close eye on her.  She ran up and down the hall greeting visitors and checking to make sure we were still there.  She was so happy that she found humans to take care of her and wanted to make sure we wouldn’t leave her.  Finally on October 10th Fern gave birth to 7 beautiful puppies.  They are all doing well.  One little one became ill the week before Thanksgiving but responded quickly to antibiotics at the vet office and was able to come back the same day.  All are happy, healthy, fat little bundles of love.

Shortly after Fern arrived a little Dachshund was found in the country, thrown out by a breeder.  Willow was terrified at first, but took comfort in Fern’s company.  She stands guard outside of Fern and the pups’ area, wanting badly to help Fern in her motherly duties.  We oblige Willow and let her help Fern, and she thoroughly enjoys it.  Willow is now coming out of her shell and following Fern’s lead in the happy-go-lucky attitude department.  Willow started accepting kisses from us last week and Fern adores being petted and loved as well.  When they aren’t tending to the pups these two gal pals can be found on a soft rug in front of the main entrance door at HUA looking out for the next visitors and ready to greet incoming dogs.  They wag their tails with with joy all day and just can’t believe their good fortune.  These two girls and the pups send many thanks to you, friends of HUA, for giving them a warm, loving place to stay when they needed it so badly.

Please CLICK HERE to make a donation for the care of Fern and her pups, and Willow.

Jacques’ Story

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Jacques wandered into the yard of a kind couple in a small town near the shelter.  They found him barely alive, snuggling up to their Dachshund for comfort.  They called the humane society in their town, but there was no way they could handle such a drastic situation, so the humane society volunteer called HUA to help.  We knew it would be bad but weren’t quite prepared for what we saw when he arrived.  Jacques had been torn up by another animal, perhaps a dog, perhaps a wild animal, but something definitely large in size.  He had tears in his neck, sides, rear and scrotum.  The wounds were terribly infected and maggots were everywhere.  Our vet in Nebraska City had left his clinic for the day, but was called back in.  While trying not to faint from the sight and smell, Jacques was rushed in to be triaged.  His wounds were cleaned and he was sewn up in several places, while other places had to stay open for wounds to drain.  He came to Omaha the next day where he spent the week at another veterinarian’s office being treated for infection and making sure all of the creepy crawlies were gone.  Jacques is now back at the shelter where he is on antibiotics for two weeks and has to have special salve applied to his wounds several times a day.  His blood counts were not good due to infection and being so malnourished so he will need to wait for his general vet work (neuter, dental, microchip) for at least another three weeks.  He needs time to heal.  The HUA vets are very optimistic about his recovery.  Jacques is being kept clean and enjoying his quiet rest times in his new soft dog bed.  He is very much liking the soft canned food with whole peas and carrots in it and doesn’t mind taking his pills at all if they are in this delicious treat.  A week has already brought about a rapid change for Jacques.  He could barely lift his head on the day he came in and didn’t have the strength to eat.  He is now standing, walking and very interested in food.  Although his wounds hurt badly he is taking comfort in the people caring for him at HUA.  Please think of Jacques during his recovery.  If you would like to help with his medical bills please click here to donate online or text GIFT to 20222 to donate $10.  Data rates and standard text messaging charges may apply.  We thank you and Jacques thanks you for caring so much about him.  Without you we could not save dogs like Jacques who need more time and attention than most shelters can give.  Jacques’ story easily could have had a sad ending, but together we will fight to make sure it is a happy one.  If you are interested in adopting Jacques once he has recovered please write to us at

UPDATE:  Jacques was adopted and is doing beautifully!  He is featured in our holiday mailing.  Click HERE to sign up for our snail mail mailings.

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