Cats & Kittens Everywhere!

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ShyanneWebCats, cats, cats!  Everywhere we look there are cats and kittens.  Hearts United for Animals has had to expand the cat quarters, making temporary housing in the clinic building as well as some of our isolation areas.  It was a very tough season for kittens.  We have many babies in addition to the adult cats.  They showed up in boxes at the end of the driveway, farmers brought them in from the area, some were found under houses and in fields.  They are all friendly, sweet, adorable and cuddly and oh so happy to be rescued!  They would love to have forever homes, and the staff at HUA would love to be back into their ‘cat comfort zone’ and get some adopted so that overcrowding is not an issue.

If you are considering adopting a cat now is a wonderful time.  Now through the end of the year you will receive a Hearts United for Animals tote bag with top of the line Taste of the Wild cat food, toys and treats.  The cats and kittens are able to travel long distance as well.  Just write to us at to find out about all of the lovely cats for adoption and discuss travel arrangements.

Shyanne, pictured here, was rescued from a small town where people noticed her wandering around lost for weeks.  She has only three legs.  She is one of the sweetest cats we have ever met.  Her very favorite thing is to snuggle in soft beds.  She and her cat friends at HUA would love a home of their own with people to snuggle with and care for them forever.  Please spread the word about Shyanne and her friends.


UPDATE: Call to Action – The Lancaster County Rock Stars Need Your Help Sept 9th – Protest at the Lancaster County Courthouse

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The jury trial for Julia Hudson, of Malcom, Nebraska, was set to start Sept 9th. Ms Hudson is the former owner/breeder of the 19 Lancaster County Rockstars that Hearts United for Animals rescued on April 15th, 2013. Authorities had been battling with Ms Hudson for months over the filthy conditions at her facility and the condition of the dogs. While she agreed to surrender 19 of the dogs, that only represented half. The rest are still there, suffering, and it is suspected that she has added more. Conditions cited included inadequate shelter, inadequate food and water supply, and inches of feces in the ramshackle little shanty that many of the dogs were housed in. The larger dogs, Standard Poodles, had no shelter at all. She was charged with animal cruel neglect/abandonment. It is a class 1 misdemeanor.  On September 5th she pled no contest and was found guilty.  We believe it was in an effort to avoid the media attention she knew was coming with our demonstration.  Her attorney insisted upon sentencing that day, no doubt so that she could avoid negative publicity.  The county attorney insisted on a pre-sentence investigation and the judge agreed.  She will be sentenced at a later date.  This will give time to gather more documents to be submitted for consideration.  On Sept 9th we need to make our voices heard.  See below to RSVP on our Facebook events page or email  We will have 150 signs featuring the dogs we rescued and photos of the conditions inside the Taj Mahal kennel owned by Julia Hudson.  The signs will be imploring the judge to implement 28-1019, which will sentence Mrs. Hudson to not own animals again for a period of 5 years.  We do not find anything less to be acceptable.  Fines won’t stop her.  Jail time would be nice, but won’t stop her.  Taking away her breeding license still means that she can own dogs, and we are not certain that the Nebraska Department of Agriculture will take away her license.  NO MORE DOGS FOR HUDSON is our request to the judge.

Hearts United for Animals documented the conditions of the 19 dogs rescued from Ms Hudson’s property, taking over 500 photos and submitting an extensive written report to the district attorney and sheriff from the HUA veterinarian, Dr James Gigstad, who triaged the dogs on the day they arrived. Conditions noted included:
• Dogs shaved so brutally that they were burned and bleeding
• A deep open cut oozing infection on the inside of one of the dog’s legs
• Mats the size of golf balls causing one dog to be unable to walk well or see
• Nearly all were underweight
• Feet encrusted with filth from walking in feces in their small cages
• Nails overgrown and curling under
• Luxating patellas
• pH imbalances, likely due to not having been provided with enough water
• Skin infections
• Ear infections
• Eye infections
• Scores of teeth hanging on by a thread in their putrid, infected mouths
• Hernias from giving birth over and over
• Pyometra infections of the uterus
• A 6-month old puppy with a deformed leg, possibly caught in wires
• Lower jaws rotted completely away due to infection
• Upper jaws with holes rotted into the sinus cavities (fistulas)

Video of the dogs rescued can be viewed here:



Winning the War on Puppy Mills – 37 Puppy Mill Dogs Rescued in July

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Scene3In the month of July, Hearts United for Animals rescued 37 puppy mill dogs from mills in Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.  The 17 from South Dakota were surprisingly young.  Many of them are just puppies!  When we asked the puppy miller why she was giving them up she said that even the most adorable highly sought after breeds were not selling.  This is fabulous news, as it means that public education efforts are paying off.  People know not to buy puppies from pet stores or online, because they are becoming educated on the conditions that the parents of those cute little puppies live in.  They know that if they give that pet store or online retailer their money it will mean continued misery for the parents who are trapped in filthy cages year after year with no human interaction, poor veterinary care – if any, and many times even a lack of clean food and water.  The public is starting to understand that they are the number one vehicle to effect change – they have the power to stop puppy mills.  The HUA veterinarian still found the typical conditions in many of the dogs, including mammary tumors, infections and terrible teeth, but at least because the dogs were younger their conditions were not as advanced.  The puppies are having a wonderful time at HUA, just so happy to be able to run and play in grass for the first time, and learn about toys and hugs and kisses and tummy rubs.

The 15 dogs who came from Minnesota were not as lucky.  It was clear that the long confinement in exceptionally rotten conditions had taken a toll.  We knew the minute we saw them that their medical needs would be extensive and their emotional scars would be vast.  One sweet little maltese could not even be identified as a particular breed until she had the years of caked on filth and mats shaved off.  It took the staff and volunteers hours to find her hiding under all of the crud.  Her back legs were fused together with matted waste from living in inches of feces and urine.  She had trouble even going to the bathroom.  It was very painful.  She was so happy to be clean and free for the first time in years.  Two of the dogs were so completely wild with fear of humans that they could not be handled when they arrived.  They had to be coaxed from their travel crate into their large open wire crate in the intake/quarantine area.  They hung their heads and would not make eye contact once they were in their new accommodations.  They wouldn’t eat or drink with humans near them.  They are going in for their veterinary work now.  Many had rotten teeth dangling by a thread, causing them to be virtually unable to eat.  They will receive soft food until their mouths heal from the extensive work and extractions that will need to take place.

The 5 dogs from Nebraska, all Pomeranians, had also led a very rough life.  Their medical needs have been ongoing since they arrived in early July.  But they are happy and grateful to have all the comforts provided to them at HUA.  Just the smallest things make a difference – the opportunity to go outside several times a day, clean nutritious food, fresh water, a blanket to call their own, a clean place to sleep.  It means the world to them.

While it is so sad to see dogs in this condition, it is also happy that they now have a chance at normal, healthy lives.  They have a chance to be adopted and be the loving family members they always should have been.  The South Dakota mill is going out of business by choice, because the pups are not selling.  The Minnesota mill is going out by force from government officials.  The Nebraska one says they are going out of business, but we aren’t so sure and will monitor the situation.  July was a very good month for these 37 dogs, and the war on puppy mills.  Please continue to spread the word – Don’t Shop.  Adopt!  It makes all the difference for dogs who continue to suffer, held prisoner, all in the name of greed.  YOU can stop puppy mills!

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Please consider a donation for these dogs’ care by going to our donation page at or mailing a check to Hearts United for Animals PO Box 286, Auburn, NE  68305.  If you are interested in adopting one please write to for more information.


Help Carrick Celebrate Freedom Week at HUA

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Carrick and his pals at HUA received an exciting message this week from a wonderful supporter who wishes to do all she can to help HUA save lives and provide comfort for dogs and cats in need.  Her greatest desire is to achieve freedom from suffering for all animals.  To help increase the amount of care HUA can provide for those who need us most, she decided that starting today through July 4th she will match all donations dollar for dollar until the goal of $10,000 is reached!

This dear, generous supporter, who wishes to remain anonymous, put Carrick in charge of the festivities for Freedom Week.  She knew that he was the oldest, wisest and has known great suffering in his life.  Carrick lives in the meeting room at HUA.  He is estimated to be 13 years old.  He was found in the country where he had been wandering by himself for a very long time.  He was weak, filthy, emaciated, covered in tumors, heartworm positive and deaf.  The HUA veterinarian was not even sure that Carrick would survive heartworm treatment.  Carrick disagreed though and knew he could do it, and he did!  He is one very happy old man now.  Most days he can be found snoozing away on his big soft bed.  He only likes to be outdoors for a short while, much preferring his new indoor accommodations.  He still marvels at the fresh food and water that are all his, and he adores the affection of all of the people who pass through to see him each day.  He was very excited to learn about Freedom Week and knew he had to pull out all the stops to get word out to the HUA supporters.  Carrick knows how wonderful it is to be rescued, comforted, loved and freed from years of suffering.

Throughout the week Carrick will be featuring his friends who have also been freed from lives of suffering.  They will be joining him in the week long party to celebrate this marvelous gift.  The celebration, including many more dogs dressed in their best party attire, will take place on the HUA Facebook page at  Carrick will post totals regularly so that everyone knows how close he and his pals are to meeting their $10,000 goal – and turni ng that $10,000 into $20,000!  Although he is deaf, Carrick can see well (especially with his snazzy new glasses) and is very sharp – so he has been appointed the accountant for the fund-raising event.
Carrick asks that you please consider a donation for Freedom Week so that more animals can be spared from lives of suffering and go on to be content and free.  He and his friends send their heartfelt gratitude and promise to do their best to entertain you and bring you heartwarming stories of happiness and love on Facebook throughout the week.

Many thanks go out to the anonymous donor providing match funds, and to all of our wonderful supporters to who are always there to make sure that HUA can assist dogs & cats in need.

Hearts United for Animals Helps Hero Dog Shot While Protecting His Family – REWARD OFFERED

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Nine month old Rex saved his family last night when home invaders broke into their home, threw the woman of the house to the ground and held her by the throat.  Rex charged the intruders and was shot by the second one.  They fled and have not yet been captured.  Rex sustained severe injury to his left front leg where the bullet entered and has a broken toe on his right rear foot where the bullet exited.  Rex was transported to the Animal Emergency Clinic in Omaha in severe distress and pain from the bullet wounds.  The family was so very proud of Rex, and yet devastated because they did not have the funds they would need in order to save his life.  The clinic called an Hearts United for Animals director at 2:00 am asking if HUA would help to save Rex’s life, and hopefully his leg.  There was no hesitation.  Rex was truly a hero and deserved every chance to recover and go home to his beloved family.  Efforts began immediately to stabilize him and and get him comfortable with pain medication.  This morning he was transferred to Mobile Animal Clinic, HUA’s preferred veterinary clinic in Omaha, where he has been given the largest recovery suite with a big bed, although being an Akita/Husky mix he prefers the cool floor most of the time.  The best orthopedic specialist in Omaha was called in to review Rex’s x-rays and it was determined that although the operation will be intricate, he believes he can save Rex’s leg.  The biggest risk now is infection.  Because of the bullet wound and bone fragments Rex will need to be on IV antibiotics until Tuesday, when the infection should subside enough to safely perform the operation that involves many pins and plates.  He will be hospitalized at Mobile Animal Clinic for approximately a week and then will have a 12 week recovery period when he goes home to his family.  The family is beyond grateful for Hearts United for Animal’s help in saving Rex, who they call their hero and their big fluff ball.  The expenses for Rex are expected to total $6,000.  Both of his veterinarians are contributing to decrease the amount and Rex has received a substantial donation from another wonderful HUA supporter and board member.  It will be a long road, and donations for our emergency medical fund are always needed.  Please donate online at and note “emergency medical fund” or “Rex” in the comment section or click here to go directly to our donation page.  We are also offering a $5,000 private reward for the capture and conviction of the criminals who shot Rex.  Please contact the Omaha Police Department Crime Stoppers Unit at 402-444-STOP with tips, or you can write to us at and we will pass along the information to the Omaha Police Department.

Today we received this message from Erin at the Animal Emergency Clinic regarding her experience with Rex last night and the work HUA does to help dogs in desperate need.  She agreed that we could share it with you:

Dear HUA,

I have been a vet tech at the Animal Emergency Clinic for almost 10years now. During that time I have cared for many animals, some only needed a little care, others needed a miracle. I have witnessed animals that have walked out of our hospital when nobody thought they would be able to. Last night, when Rex and his family came to us I was so proud of him for saving his family. He is a hero! When I learned that his family may not have the funds to help him, I was devastated. Here was this beautiful, stoic puppy that did the only thing that he knew to do to keep the people he loved safe, but because of finances his future was unknown. I left work at about 1:30am knowing that the family was still searching for a way to help him. One of my assistants called me and asked what they should do, and I could only think of one last try, and that was to call you! Later I got a message saying that you had agreed to pay for the medical bills so this family could take there precious friend home. I was in tears when I heard the news. I have cared for many animals that your rescue has stepped in and saved. Sometimes I forget why I am in this profession, and last night I was reminded that it is to help those that cannot help themselves. I just wanted to tell you that your rescue and the many people that are a part of it are angels and I will never forget how generous and wonderful you are.

Thank you, for always being there, when sometimes others can’t.

Erin Rankin

Our hearts are touched by this special message which highlights the importance of the work we do, and of course also we are deeply touched by Rex today.  The HUA board member who took the call has been to visit him several times today and he is doing very well, quite relaxed and sedated, being kept comfortable by his pain meds.  His family is making regular visits to see their precious boy as well.  Many thanks to all of our supporters who make this important work possible for dogs like Rex.

Please visit our Facebook page for updates on Rex and to see the links to the news coverage of his story.  More photos are posted below.



Turbo Announces An Exciting Way for You to Help HUA On May 16th!

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Turbo has been waking up every morning, looking at the calendar, and hoping that Thursday, May 16th, will arrive soon!  Today he realized that it is getting very close, so he wanted to make sure to tell all of his friends to save the date.  All donations made to Hearts United for Animals on May 16th through the Give to Lincoln Razoo web page will qualify our shelter and sanctuary for a proportional share of a $200,000 match pool of funds from the Lincoln Community Foundation.  Turbo heard that last year the shelter was in the top spot for donations all day and that over $65,000 was raised to help the animals at HUA.  He is an excellent mathematician and he knows how far that much money goes to help dogs and cats in need.  He is also up to speed on technology and suggests that if you have a smart phone you may wish to plug in a calendar reminder that says “Turbo says to donate online at“.  Turbo and his friends will be cheering us on and watching the totals on the Give to Lincoln Day website on the 16th, as well as following all of the exciting happenings on our Facebook page.  They know that so many deserving animals can be helped through your generous donations and matching funds from the Lincoln Community Foundation.  Turbo has promised all of his buddies a round of special treats at the end of the day if we can beat last year’s total.  He doesn’t need much of an excuse to throw a party, but we think that would be a great reason!  Please help Turbo meet his goal on May 16th.

PS – Turbo has a secret that he wants to share.  If you go to our Give to Lincoln donation web page now, you can schedule your donation to happen automatically on the 16th, so there is no way you will forget.  Right above the donation button make sure it says Make This Donation Occur “On a Giving Day”.  It is that easy!

Stay up to speed with all of the latest Give to Lincoln Day and Hearts United for Animals news by becoming a fan of our Facebook page.  Turbo loves social media and wants to keep in touch with his friends.

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 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

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.


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