About Hearts United for Animals

Hearts United for Animals is a Smithsonian Award winning, state-of-the-art no-kill shelter and sanctuary dedicated to relieving the suffering of domestic animals. HUA has rescued over 12,000 dogs from puppy mills, provided low cost spay/neuter services for over 14,000 patients, and offers temporary housing for animals of families fleeing domestic violence.  We have placed thousands of cats and dogs in wonderful new homes across the country through our JetSet Dogs program.  The Proud Pets Program provides free veterinary care for the beloved pets of previously homeless veterans.  With your support, we continue with these very important missions of mercy that save precious lives and heal broken hearts.

Spay/neuter surgery reduces pet overpopulation, lowers the risk of disease development, and sometimes prevents unwanted behavior such as “marking.”  The importance of this program knows no limits, and spay/neuter educational outreach and surgeries remain a high priority at Hearts United for Animals.

Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic

By the end of 2020, the HUA Spay/Neuter Clinic had medically treated  more than 20,000 dog and cat patients throughout its years of operation, preventing over 2 million births. The clinic, with its state of the art equipment, operates under the high professional standards of our veterinarian, Dr. James Gigstad of Nebraska City. All patients receive pain and antibiotic injections, and oxygen and intravenous support are available at all times. Other procedures such as vaccinations and nail clippings are complimentary.  HUA staff members are on hand every week to schedule appointments and assist in the operating room.

The HUA Spay/Neuter Clinic has been an enormous success. Thanks to our commitment to this mission, the vicious cycle of reproduction has ended for many animals. Local rescue volunteers have a low cost alternative to spay/neuter colonies of feral cats.  Pitiful big farm dogs have had their last litter of puppies, and many families of limited means no longer have to face the burden of unwanted litters. 


Based on statistics published on the web site of The Humane Society of the United States in 2006:

  • The Estimated ratio of canines to felines is 30:70.
  • Feline average years of fertility: 7
  • Average number of litters a fertile cat can produce in one year: 3
  • Average number of kittens in a feline litter: 4-6
  • Canine average years of fertility: 6
  • Average number of litters a fertile dog can produce in one year: 2
  • Average number of puppies in a canine liter: 6-10


YearTotal Animals AlteredDogsPuppies PreventedCatsKittens PreventedTotal Estimated Pups & Kittens Prevented by HUA Clinic

Shut Down Puppy Mills

Hearts United for Animals is one of the nation’s leaders in the fight against puppy mills. Since 1996 we have rescued over 12,000 dogs from puppy mills. The atrocities we have seen are staggering. The injuries we repair, both emotional and physical, are beyond comprehension for most loving pet owners.  With your help we continue to fight for a day when dogs are no longer housed by the hundreds, stacked in wire cages, suffering from lack of medical care, no beds, no blankets, no clean food or water, and no concept of what it means to be loved and cared for. With your support we are gaining ground and winning the fight. Due to a combination of public education, legislation, and enforcement the amount of puppy mills has drastically decreased.  For many, it is no longer a money making business.  We look forward to the day when puppy mills remain only in our memories.

Jet Set Dogs

Many years ago, when the Internet was still in its infancy stage, Hearts United for Animals created a program we called “Jet Set Dogs.” Through the use of the Internet, we were able reach out across the country in search of the best homes for our precious dogs. We became long distance adoption specialists. This innovative program was honored by the Smithsonian Institute.

HUA rescues dogs from shelters and puppy mills in many states and relocates them to new homes after they have received all of the necessary medical care.   In more recent years, we have worked with volunteer pilots with Wings of Rescue and PilotsNPaws to rescue from and place into multiple states across the country.

While the Internet also opened up opportunities for dishonest breeders and puppy millers to sell damaged dogs more easily, something wonderful also occurred.  HUA was given the ability to spread out nationwide to save those innocent lives who had nowhere else to go.

Proud Pets Program

In September of 2018, HUA joined  Omaha Girl Scout Troop #44323 to form the Proud Pets Program. This program serves the pets of veterans who were homeless before that were home in the Victory Apartments in both Omaha and Lincoln, NE,  The Girl Scouts, as part of their community service, had identified the need for low cost veterinary care for veterans living in the Victory Apartment Complex.

HUA arranged for this care in both cities, and with the help of the Girl Scouts, pets have been transported to their medical appointments.  It is a most rewarding program because the veterans are so grateful to have their cherished pets healthy, and it is gratifying to work with a group of dedicated young people.

Tia’s Place

When Tia was close to giving birth, she was beaten with a baseball bat by the farmer who was a tenant at her rural home. Tia gave birth to her puppies and kept them alive until help arrived, As part of a rescue at that time, two HUA volunteers went to pick up the puppies. When we met Tia, she came along with us.

At the HUA shelter, Tia had four surgeries to restore her face and repair her teeth. She lived happily at the shelter for three years until she was taken from us by cancer. In spite of her experience with the worst of the human species, she was a people-loving dog.

Tia’s Place provides refuge to pets of families who are fleeing domestic violence. It has also been extended to include other events that have rendered families unable to keep their pets for a time period. There is no time restriction. Animals stay until the family is able to recover. and there is no charge. Often HUA arranges veterinary care for the Tia’s place animals. If the family is unable to take back their pet and agrees to surrender their dog, HUA will try to place the animal in a good home, or we keep it in safety and comfort for the rest of its life.


The entrance to our main building is covered with granite plaques donated in memory of beloved sentient beings. The granite plaques are 12 x 12 inches. They are etched with your favorite photograph and a verse or other chosen words. The cost is $250.00. We will also provide a photograph displaying the finished plaque. This is a wonderful gift and a great honor to a beloved. If you would like to order your plaque, email [email protected].