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.




Goodbye Sariel

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Sariel, who came to us from a puppy mill nine months ago, was granted her wings this week.  She is now a sweet angel of guidance watching over all of the puppy mill dogs and rescuers who need an extra paw in Heaven to lead the way.

After her first vet visit we knew Sariel would not be with us much longer.  At only seven years of age mammary cancer from all of the years of over-breeding had already spread to her lymph nodes.  There was nothing to be done but make her comfortable and make sure that she lived every day to the fullest.  She loved sitting in the sun, just soaking up the rays and enjoying the green grass beneath her paws for the first time.  She very much enjoyed the large room she lived in with other dogs needing special care.  Her room had huge, plush dog beds and a never-ending supply of staff and volunteers to shower her with love.  Although her time was much too short, we made sure that the most was made of it.  She knew what it was like to spend hours in the arms of people who loved her.  She knew freedom, comfort and love.  She was happy.

Although we are very sad that her life was stolen from her by the greed of humans, we will focus on the joyful moments that we were able to provide for her.  Her beautiful spirit will live on in us forever, giving us hope and guidance to put an end to puppy mills and rescue as many dogs as we can from horrible situations like hers.

We would like to extend our immense gratitude to you for supporting Hearts United for Animals so that Sariel and others like her can know goodness in their lives, even if for too brief a time.  To Sariel it meant the world.  She passed in the arms of the only people who ever truly loved and cared for her, a sad but profound gift.

“Out of the ashes of our hopelessness comes the fire of our hope.” – Anne Wilson Schaef

Click here to leave a memorial gift for Sariel.

Meet Dog #72 – The LAST from a Nebraska Puppy Mill

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On Friday, January 28th, another Nebraska puppy mill officially closed its doors.  Hearts United for Animals worked closely with authorities to shut them down and we are so happy that the place is finally gone for good.  We have rescued 72 dogs from this mill over the past several months, with the last 11 arriving on Friday.  Mainly there were Shih-tzus, Yorkies, Maltese and combinations of those three breeds.  The medical conditions are some of the worst we have seen.  Over 3/4 of the females had mammary tumors, including Sariel who is not expected to live much longer because the cancer has spread.  All of the dogs have had infected, horrible mouths.  Many have been diagnosed with heart failure, with one dear girl passing away from that condition shortly after arrival.  Willy Wonka had no bottom jaw and weighed only 3 pounds (many thanks to Willy’s adoptive parents who are nursing him back to health).  Loena had cataracts in both eyes, a heart condition, a badly infected mouth, and a 1 inch tear in her abdominal wall with a hernia sac the size of an orange hanging out with her organs inside of it.  Worst of all at 10 years of age and in this condition she was pregnant!  In addition to all of these severe medical conditions we have also noted loose patellas, ear infections and some cases of heartworms.  We estimate the medical bills for these dogs right at $42,000, and many of them will have ongoing care with medications they will need to be on for life.

As for dog #72, she and her pals are having a great time at HUA.  They are looking around in pure amazement that all of the dogs get to run free!  She is playful, but hasn’t quite figured out yet how to play.  We will teach her to play and will do everything in our power to help her forget her miserable past.  She and her pals love their warm blankets and great food and are soaking up the attention from the staff and volunteers already.

From our hearts to yours, thank you for your generous support that enables us to pull off massive missions of mercy like this one for Loena, Willy Wonka, Sariel, dog #72 and all of their pals who suffered so long and are finally able to know happiness.

There are two things you can do to help.  #1 – PLEASE donate for the care of these precious souls.  #2 – If you live near Lincoln, Nebraska, please consider coming to the State Capitol on Tuesday, Feb 8th at 1:30 to show your support for LB 427 which would improve conditions in Nebraska puppy mills.  HUA has been instrumental in drafting this bill which would restrict the breeding age for females, require exercise for the dogs outside of their cages and require more frequent veterinary exams.  A show of support would mean so much.  If you are interested in attending and signing in FOR the bill please contact lori@hua.org for more information.

Please spread the word by sharing with your family and friends.  For more frequent updates on the happenings at HUA please follow us on Facebook.

New Video: Nearly 200 Puppy Mill Dogs Get Freedom for Christmas!

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Since Sept 1st Hearts United for Animals has rescued nearly 200 dogs from Nebraska and Missouri puppy mills.  Many of the dogs were saved thanks to state authorities who realized that they would not survive winter in the horrendous conditions.  The dogs were receiving no veterinary care and one of the mills was only days away from running out of food for the dogs.  We were so glad to be able to assist in saving so many lives before the very worst happened, but also saddened at the condition of the dogs.  The extensive medical needs included horribly infected teeth and gums, severe heart conditions, fleas, painful ear infections, internal parasites, eye infections, mammary tumors and one female pomeranian who required emergency surgery for a hernia so large that all of her internal organs had fallen into it.  All of the dogs are so grateful to be rescued and are doing well in their recoveries.  The most challenging of the rescues involved 76 dogs from a mill that had trouble selling the pups but kept breeding them anyway until there was barely an inch of space left for any of them.  They were mainly large “designer” dogs consisting of Labradoodles, Aussiedoodles and Goldendoodles.  The HUA veterinarian spent two days at the mill vaccinating the dogs and getting them ready for transport, while HUA volunteers coordinated a massive effort to move them to reputable rescue groups in Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota and the east coast.  Cargo vans were rented and volunteers were recruited for long trips in every direction so that the dogs could be rescued as quickly as possible and have warm places for the winter.  Most of the dogs are now in foster care, many are already adopted, and some will call the HUA shelter home until they find their forever families.  We are very grateful this holiday season to all of our volunteers and good friends in rescue who helped to save these lives, but foremost we are grateful to our contributors who provide the funding to make it possible for dogs like these to be comfortable, happy, warm and well for the first time in their lives.  Because of you this holiday season these nearly 200 dogs will have warm beds, full tummies, medication and people who love them and will fiercely protect their lives forevermore.

We invite you to meet some of the dogs here in our YouTube video, and ask that you please remember Hearts United for Animals this holiday season with a donation to help us rescue many, many more dogs who so desperately need our help:

Holiday Billboards are Back!

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They’re back!  This year we have several different designs rotating on a digital billboard at I-80 and 84th Street in Omaha.  The campaign is running from Thanksgiving through Christmas.  With the help of Lamar Outdoor and Immediate Solutions we have created several different types of eye-catching messages to inform over 80,000 travelers per day about puppy mills.  We are hoping that our “Don’t Shop.  Adopt.”  campaign will make people think twice about buying that darling pet store puppy for Christmas.  Our very own Renella is a mother of puppies sold to a pet store near the location of the billboard.  For the sake of all mothers like Renella, trapped for years in puppy mills, we want people to realize that buying puppies makes the misery continue for hundreds of thousands of dogs like her.   Click here to donate to future billboard or television advertising campaigns.

Here is Renella’s picture and message:

Here are our other messages.  Let us know which one is your favorite.  We are considering making the favorite into a bumper sticker!

Puppy Mill Awareness Day is Sept 18th

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Saturday Sept 18th is National Puppy Mill Awareness Day.  In honor of this day we have placed 7 digital billboards throughout the Omaha metro area for the entire week.  Thanks to our friends at Lamar we will be telling 150,000 people per day that they can stop puppy mills by sending the message “Don’t Shop.  Adopt.”  We hope people make the connection that buying from pet stores is precisely how puppy mills stay in business, and that it isn’t just about the puppies (as if that isn’t bad enough).  It is about the suffering parents of pet store puppies.  As long as there is demand the parents will be locked away in cages, suffering for years to churn out more product.  They will never receive vet care.  They will be there until their bodies give out.  They will never touch grass or know the love of a human.  Buying a puppy in a pet store sentences them to this life.

Our new brochure entitled “Where Did This Puppy Come From?” is available to the public.  Please write to us at clinic@hua.org to have brochures sent to  you to pass out at events, vet clinics, grooming shops, doctors offices – anyplace the dog loving public goes is a good place for outreach.  Please take the opportunity on this special day, and every day, to think of the mill dogs and spread the word.  Awareness is key to ending puppy mills in this country.

To help donate to the care of the mill dogs that Hearts United for Animals have rescued please click here go to our online donation form and put ‘for the mill dogs’ in the comments.  Thank you for your support that allows us to continue our missions of mercy to save these dogs who have suffered so greatly for an industry of greed.  And thank you for helping spread the word so that some day all dogs in this country may be happy, loved family members – as they are meant to be.

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