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 hua@hua.org.

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.

Help Us Root for Rosalee

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Rosalee was found abandoned in a small town known for puppy mills.  She was filthy, malnourished and very afraid.  She lost 19 teeth at her first visit to the HUA vet.  She was relieved to be at the shelter where she had good food, warm blankets and people to care for her.  She felt so much better after her teeth were pulled and the infection in her mouth cleared up, but soon we realized that Rosalee was weak and her gums were pale.  It was discovered that she was severely anemic.  Rosalee has been in foster care in Omaha for a month and is fighting an uphill battle.  While treating her anemia with medication to try to get her body to start making red blood cells it was discovered that Rosalee had a heart condition as well.  Overnight she could barely breath and had to be rushed to the vet.  The veterinarian had to stop treating the anemia in order to get her heart condition under control.  Once her heart improved her red blood cell count dropped to such dangerous levels that she had to have a blood transfusion.  The hope was that she would continue to make red blood cells on her own once her blood was replaced with that of a healthy dog.  Sadly, after a couple of weeks her cell count has dropped again.  Rosalee is scheduled to have her spleen removed this week.  Through all of this Rosalee has been a happy girl.  She was once afraid of humans but now she dances and delights in the company of her foster mom.  She begs to be held and appears as if she has been in a home all of her life.  She has a voracious appetite and thinks the breakfasts and dinners at her foster home are worthy of a 5 star review.  Rosalee is facing several more weeks of recovery and waiting to find out if the splenectomy will fix her anemia problem.  At HUA every dog is precious and deserves every chance they can have at a happy, healthy life.  Please help us root for Rosalee in her recovery.  She is very special to us and to her foster mom, Auntie Jean.  Rosalee would love to have a home after her recovery.  If you are interested in adopting this sparkly-eyed little ray of sunshine please write to us at hua@hua.org for more information and we will keep you updated on her progress.  Click here to donate online to help with Rosalee’s extensive medical bills, or text GIFT to 20222 to donate $10 via text.  Data charges and standard text messaging rate may apply.  Please think of Rosalee this week while she recovers from her big operation.  Your support means the world to us and to Rosalee.

Animal Flood Victims Rescued – Please Help

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The Missouri River Flood is devastating people and animals in the area surrounding the shelter.  Animals are pouring in as families evacuate their homes, knowing that it may be months before they can return.  Many Hamburg, Iowa residents evacuated early as water crept closer, knowing that levees were not likely to hold.  HUA staff and volunteers went to Hamburg offering to take in animals who had nowhere to go.  They were immediately taken up on the offer returning with a van load of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens.  They left information with the sheriff on how to get in touch if animals were found abandoned.  Reports were coming into HUA that some animals had been locked in homes or tied to dog houses as the water crept closer.  Volunteers continued to go out and search returning each day with animals in desperate need.  Finally in a catastrophic event that happened in seconds the main levee broke open and water was no longer seeping, it gushed in full force toward the town of Hamburg.  The remaining people who were holding out hope that all would be okay headed straight for Hearts United for Animals to leave their animals in the care of loving staff and volunteers while they sought shelter as their houses were destroyed.  The families who have left their animals for safe care were so thankful that the HUA volunteers and staff came to them with this generous offer to house their pets at no charge until they can be reunited.  Many family members, having never even been separated from their pets overnight, wept with sadness as they said good-bye, but the tears were also very much of gratitude that they were safe in the wonderful care of HUA.  HUA will provide housing, food and all necessary medical care for the animals until their families can come for them.

Parts of Nebraska City and other surrounding communities have been and will continue to be effected.  We anticipate a huge overload of animals from the flood to last all summer and into the fall.  Interstate 29 is already closed to the south of Nebraska City and north of Omaha.  More closing are anticipated, including Highway 75 through Plattsmouth, cutting off both main routes to Omaha where the HUA animals typically go for emergency care.  The creek on the HUA property is connected to the Missouri River, but most buildings are on high ground.  A plan is in place to move animals quickly and alternate routes are mapped in case of emergency medical needs.

During the week that the animals from the flood began to arrive, HUA rescued 21 dogs from a neglect case and 22 dogs from a puppy mill for a total of over 60 animals in one week.  It is a major drain on the financial resources, but we know our contributors will come to the aid of the animals.  There was no way we could say no to a single one of these animals who had nowhere else to turn.  It is shaping up to be one of the toughest summers in the history of the shelter.  In addition to the food, medical care and housing costs, caregiving staff has been added to help make sure all of the animals are comfortable, clean, loved and well cared for.  We are asking that you please contribute to help the animals who so desperately need you now.

Amazing Journey – 3 Lovely Dogs Arrive from Miami

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The Miami Dade shelter was forced to close after an outbreak of distemper.  Hundreds of healthy dogs were left with nowhere to go.  When HUA volunteers Riki and Kim heard about it they worked day and night along with over 60 other rescue groups to save as many as they could.  The shelter staff begged them to save Cookie, Stealth and Ping.  They told them that they were the most lovely dogs there and just could not bear to see them put down, it would break their hearts.  Soon these three amazing dogs were on their way to Hearts United for Animals where a big comfortable condo unit was being prepared for them.  Riki and Kim traveled with them to make sure they were content on their long journey.  They settled in well, kissed their rescuers good-bye and went about meeting their new caregivers at HUA.  They soon began to enjoy outings to the agility yard, playing ball and rolling in the cool grass.  Stealth was the first lucky dog to be adopted and his adoptive family, who just happen to be in Florida, are madly in love with him.  Ping and Cookie await forever homes and hope you will consider them if you are looking to adopt a wonderful new family member.  They invite you to view their YouTube video of their amazing journey along with photos of their first play date in the agility yard where they celebrated the gift of life given to them by two wonderful ladies from Florida.  Riki and Kim returned to Miami and continued to work alongside other groups to save in total more than 500 dogs until the Miami shelter was able to re-open.  Donations for our three Miami rescues can be made by clicking HERE.  If you are interested in adopting Ping or Cookie please write to lori@hua.org.

Ping

Cookie

Stealth

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