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HUA Blog

We blog about fundraising and campaigns, adoptions, donations, shutting down puppy mills, spaying and neutering, Jetset Dogs, Sanctuary Sweethearts, 911 emergency assistance and rescue, Tia's Place, Legacy of Love, pet memorials, and education.

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Turner&RascalBlogSanctuary Sweethearts, Turner and Rascal, are best friends.  They call Hearts United for Animals home and are so happy that they can live their lives together at HUA.  Turner was rescued from a puppy mill in Iowa where he was beaten with a shovel causing permanent back injury.  He can walk, but his back is hunched up in a v shape.  He is also blind.  Rascal was rescued from a puppy mill in Nebraska near the Wyoming border.  The puppy miller swung him in the air by the scruff of the neck while he screamed in fear for his life.  He lived in a crate filled with hay with only a light bulb dangling overhead for warmth.  All of the dogs rescued were young, as the older ones had already perished the extreme heat, cold and lack of veterinary care.  It has been years since Turner and Rascal were rescued.  They understandably have not ever developed an appreciation of humans.  They are so fearful that they have to be sedated for even a routine veterinary examination.  The happy news is that they love and adore one another.  Rascal is Turner's seeing eye dog.  He is very protective of his little Dachshund pal.  When people come near them he sits close to Turner to protect him.  They snuggle in their warm blankets on their bed in their apartment at HUA.  They have a heated and cooled inside space and access to their own private yard through their dog door.  They love to romp around and play together, with Rascal always on guard duty, watching to see who is out and about and ready to lend comfort to his best friend if needed.

While their stories are sad, the life they now lead at Hearts United for Animals is the perfect for them.  They are allowed the freedom that they need to finally know peace in their hearts.  They can live life on their own terms with everything that they need, especially one another.  It is a huge commitment to care for these two special needs fellows for life, but one that HUA is willing to make in order to provide them with a happy place where they can be free, content and well cared for forever.

Please visit their Sanctuary Sweetheart pages to sponsor one or both of these dear boys, or any of the other Sanctuary Sweethearts at HUA.  Your caring and support means the world to them.  As a sponsor you will receive a packet in the mail with a photo and bio of your Sweetheart and a refrigerator magnet so you can look at your Sweetheart every day and know that you are giving the gift of life and love to your special needs friend.

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EveB1Late in the afternoon on New Year's Eve two gentlemen came to the HUA shelter to report a beautiful dog lying in a field in a pool of blood, unable to move.  They tried to pick her up to bring her to Hearts United for Animals for help but she would not let them come near her, giving them warning signals that she was in pain and did not want to be touched.  HUA employees followed them to the field where they found her 30 feet from the railroad tracks.  She was unable to walk and although she wanted help she also did not want to be touched.  John from HUA was able to gently convince her that he was there to help and would be very careful with her.  She had a laceration under her eye and her back legs were very painful.  She stopped at the HUA shelter to have an injection of pain medication and was then on her way to Urgent Pet Care in Omaha.  It was found that this beautiful girl had three breaks in her pelvis with not much left of her sacrum.  She was kept comfortable at Urgent Pet Care over the holiday and then transferred to Mobile Animal Clinic in Omaha where Dr Merkley, an orthopedic specialist, was called in to evaluate her.  Although he knew it would be a very difficult operation he was willing to try.  The surgery happened a week later after swelling went down, nerve damage assessments had been performed, and her lacerations and mouth injuries were attended to.  Because of her facial/jaw injuries she had to be syringe fed for nearly two weeks.

To commemorate her late day New Year's Eve rescue she was named Eve.  Eve's operation was lengthy and difficult.  She spent a week recovering on heavy pain meds and has just returned to Hearts United for Animals where she will spend the next eight to ten weeks completing her recovery.  She is now able to eat soft people food on her own, with chicken and hamburger being her favorites.  Eve had many special visitors and gifts sent to her during her two week stay in the veterinary hospitals in Omaha.  People were kind enough to cook her food, send her plush toys and blankets and stop by to wish her well.  We are not sure what type of dog Eve is but it has been suggested that she may have some Irish Wolfhound in her background, or Scottish Deerhound.  She is three years old and after her recovery is complete will be looking for a special family to call her own.  We will continue to assess her needs as she recovers to see if she will be able to do stairs or if a ranch style home would be best for her.  If you are interested in adopting Eve please email tera@hua.org.  Donations for Eve's care and recovery can be made online by clicking here.  Your support makes success stories like Eve's possible.  Eve sends many thanks from the bottom of her heart to everyone who has helped to care for her and save her life.

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KaysonBlogKayson is a beautiful, happy little fellow who was rescued from a Nebraska puppy mill by Hearts United for Animals.  He is only 9 years old, but due to poor breeding practices and neglect in the puppy mill, his time left to enjoy his freedom will likely be cut short.  He was SO HAPPY on the day he was rescued.  He immediately snuggled himself into the arms of a volunteer and gave us the biggest, happiest smile he could muster.  He was beaming!  At first glance he should have been one of the most adoptable of all the dogs rescued that day.  Kayson has never been made available for adoption though.  His health problems are too severe.  He lives in a foster home on the property at HUA.  He loves his life there, but each day is a struggle to keep him alive and happy.  Kayson lost nearly all of his teeth because they were rotten from years of neglect.  He came through the surgery well.  Then one day he completely lost use of all four legs.  He was rushed into the veterinarian's office where he spent many days and was thankfully able to recover.  While he was in the hospital it was discovered that his heart was very bad.  He was put on medication to try to prolong his life and try to get him well enough to have surgery for two suspicious growths.  He was able to have the surgery.  Not long after he got out of the hospital he began coughing uncontrollably.  It was found that his trachea was collapsed.  He spent two weeks on crate rest with heavy doses of cough medicine and has to have treatment added to his water to turn it to gel to help him swallow.  The cold weather made it worse, so he cannot go outside on very cold days.  The results of his biopsies are back and the growth on his side was cancerous and the margins were not clean.  Kayson is not strong enough to have surgery again at this time.  He is still battling back from his collapsed trachea problems.  His fur on the tumor site has been shaved and the spot will be monitored.  Through all of his battles he has remained happy, loving and the sweetest little fellow ever.  He knows that everything that can be done for him is being done.  When it is his time he will know he has been loved and will have appreciated every day that he was able to spend outside of a cage doing what he does best - spreading love and cheer.

Kayson's issues were not isolated.  Two of the other little tiny poms from this rescue mission who were bred for beauty and size rather than health also had major issues.  One sweet little fellow who was smaller than Kayson did not make it.  He passed away in an instant from a heart attack one day.  Another, Zelda, had a massive stroke shortly after she was rescued and permanently lost use of one leg that was left stiff and curled up.  It is a miracle that Kayson is still alive - a miracle that has been provided to him by the generous donations of the kind people who support Hearts United for Animals.  Kayson will get to enjoy at least one Christmas, and maybe more.  He and all of his human and canine friends are planning a party to celebrate their freedom on Christmas Day.

Kayson  and his pals are the cutest, cuddliest, sweetest little dogs, but they are far from healthy.  They are having their lives stolen twice.  First, the many years that they spent caged with no significant human interaction or veterinary care stole the majority of their lives while they churned out puppies to be sold to pet stores.  Second, once they were rescued their bodies were so damaged from poor genetics and poor care that the time they have left will be cut much shorter than it should be.  Because they are forgiving, adoring, loving little dogs they hold no grudges.  But we do.  We do it on their behalf.  We will fight for justice.  We will publicize their plight in order to help save future dogs from the same fate.  We will ask you to do the same.  Puppy mills are for the most part not illegal.  They should be, but they aren't.  We will fight for the worst ones to be shut down immediately and fight for better laws, but the bottom line is that if the public were educated not to purchase puppies from pet stores Kayson and his friends would not be suffering.  Without demand the suppliers would go out of business.  In honor of Kayson and the over 10,000 other dogs we have rescued from puppy mills, and in honor of those who still suffer, we have brought back our billboard campaign in Omaha.  It is urging people to adopt instead of shop this holiday season and bringing the reality of puppy mills and the consequences of buying pet store puppies to light in a large digital display seen by 80,000 people per day.

Donations to HUA are being doubled through December 31st.  Please consider a donation for the care of Kayson and his friends and to help us educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills.  Your assistance in helping us to continue these life saving missions of mercy mean so much to the the dogs.

Please donate online at www.hua.org.  We will let Kayson know you are thinking about him.

The billboards...

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A1We wish to extend deep gratitude to all of our supporters who wrote to the Lancaster County Attorney regarding the Taj Mahal breeding kennel in Malcolm, Nebraska.  Today your voices were heard.  Julia Hudson was sentenced to two years probation (the maximum) and during that time she will not be allowed to own, possess, reside with or raise any dogs.  She will be subject to searches of her premises, her person and her vehicle at any time.  She has also been ordered to pay restitution to Hearts United for Animals for the expenses associated with the care of the 19 Lancaster County Rock Stars whom we rescued from her facility in April.  In addition she will need to perform 120 hours of community service.

Ms Hudson's attorney began today by stating that Julia Hudson's dogs were simply livestock.  He stated that they are not here to be cuddled and pampered.  He said they are for profit, just like hens and hogs who urinate, defecate and eat in the same small cages that afford them no room to even turn around.  He said they are not pets and all she did was treat livestock like livestock, therefore she was baffled by the accusation that she had done anything wrong.  He also stated that he did not feel that Ms Hudson should have to pay restitution for medical expenses incurred by Hearts United in saving the dogs.  He said that if they were in bad shape they should have been euthanized in order to save money.  He stated that the demonstrators "just" had a moral objection and were too emotional.

The prosecuting attorney did a wonderful job.  He pointed out her longstanding pattern of uncorrected behavior, described her disgusting premises in detail, and listed each illness and injury found by the HUA veterinarian.  He then read an excerpt of a letter from a neighbor who had encountered some of the Hudson dogs.  He is a retired sheriff who stated that through all his years in law enforcement, having encountered many corpses, he had still never smelled anything as horrific as the Taj Mahal dogs.  He said that he saw Ms Hudson smack a dog so hard that he had to turn his head in disgust.  The prosecutor said that Ms Hudson's excuses were wearing thin and that she was clearly unwilling to learn a lesson and correct her actions.  He then asked for the stiffest possible sentence.

The judge began his remarks by telling Ms Hudson that what she had done was "no less than to create an animal Auschwitz."  He said that an individual has to be very insensitive to think that an animal cannot feel cold, hunger, pain or abandonment.  He pointed out that she offered no apology, no admission of wrongdoing.  He told her that she was a person driven by money and that it was clear that nothing else mattered to her.  While he could have imposed jail time or a fine that would not have kept her from owning animals, and he realized that would be the most beneficial sentence.  We applaud Judge Timothy Phillips as well as prosecutor Corey Rothrock for their fine efforts and good judgment in this case.

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H1Julia Hudson, owner of "The Taj Mahal" breeding kennel in Malcolm, Nebraska is being sentenced on November 15th, 2013 for cruelty and neglect of animals.  Hearts United for Animals rescued 19 dogs from her breeding facility in April of 2013.  We have already held one well-publicized demonstration to urge the judge to make Nebraska Statute 28-1019 part of her sentence.  This would mean that she would not be able to own any animal for five years.  We must continue to keep this in the public eye and not let her sentencing go under the radar, therefore we will hold another demonstration the day of the sentencing.  November 15th,  we will hold another demonstration in front of the Lancaster County Courthouse.  All individuals, shelters and rescue groups are invited to participate.  We would like to see as strong of a turnout as possible to send a message to the judge that this animal abuser should no longer be allowed to have animals. Nebraska Humane Society, the group responsible for putting 28-1019 on the books, will be joining us.  Please RSVP only if you plan to attend the event in person.  That way we can get an accurate count for signs needed.  You can RSVP on our Facebook Events pages or email lori@hua.org.

EVENT DETAILS – Demonstration & Attend Sentencing – November 15th 8:30 am to Noon (sentencing at approximately 10:30 am courtroom 22) - CLICK HERE TO RSVP on our Facebook Events Page, or email lori@hua.org.

We will be out in full force the morning of November 15th to demonstrate to the judge that we feel the harshest sentence available should be dispensed to Julia Hudson, owner of the Taj Mahal breeding kennel in Malcolm, Nebraska. She was found guilty of animal neglect and cruelty in September.  It is important to continue to deliver our message that Nebraska Statute 28-1019 should be utilized in her sentencing.  This would mean she would not be allowed to own or possess animals for a period of five years.  Ms Hudson is the former owner/breeder of the 19 Lancaster County Rock Stars that Hearts United for Animals rescued on April 15th.  See below for more information and video on their condition and the conditions at the kennel.  The day of the sentencing is very important and we hope that all of our supporters as well as other animal shelters and rescues will attend in large numbers.  Please RSVP only if you plan to attend in person so that we can get an accurate count of signs needed.  Here are a few things to keep in mind for the demonstration:

1) Wear an HUA shirt (or shelter or rescue group of your choice) if you have one.
2) The demonstration will be peaceful - no profanity or threats to harm people or property.
3) Please stay on public property (the sidewalks) but step back onto the grass if people need to pass by. Allow room for pedestrians by making sure not to bunch up too closely with other protestors.
4) Media spokespersons for HUA are Lori Hook and Carol Wheeler. Feel free to give your personal opinion but please refer the media to Lori or Carol for official statements from HUA.
5) Please use the signs that HUA brings for you unless you have a sign approved in advance by Lori lori@hua.org.

More about Julia Hudson & the Taj Mahal:

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 to Hearts United for Animals in April, that only represented half. The rest are still there, suffering, and it has been reported that she is back up to as many as 35 dogs total. 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.

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 actual Taj Mahal breeding kennel owned by Julia Hudson:



Video of the dogs rescued by Hearts United for Animals:

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