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 2018, Hearts United for Animals developed the Proud Pets Program along with Omaha Girl Scout Troop #44323.  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.

These veterans were living in low cost housing after having experienced homelessness.  Many had devoted animals who had become best friends, but additional funds for high quality pet food, vaccinations, spay/neuters or surgeries were not available.

HUA created a team of veterinarians who agreed to volunteer their services to the veterans,  we agreed to cover all costs, and the Girl Scouts would provide transportation to and from appointments.  The program was such a success that we expanded into Lincoln, NE.

Your donations help our important veterans keep their cherished pets happy and healthy, and they are incredibly grateful for these services.  One less worry for those who are suffering is a powerful venue for healing.

Tia’s Place

A neighbor of a farmer let us know about a mother dog who had been beaten in the head with a baseball bat by the farmer.  Tia’s face was devastated and her teeth were destroyed.  She had been left alone to die with her unborn puppies. Somehow she lived, gave birth to the puppies and kept them alive until help arrived. We were horrified upon seeing Tia’s unimaginable condition, but although she had every reason to fear people, she was trusting and grateful for the kindness. Tia had four surgeries to rebuild her face and repair her teeth.  Lumps removed from her mouth were deemed to be cancerous.  Tia lived at HUA for three years, and she was lavished with love until her death.

Tia’s Place provides refuge to pets of families who are fleeing domestic violence, have been rendered temporarily homeless due to fires or other catastrophic events, or severe illness that requires hospitalization.  Beloved family animals are kept safe until the family is able to recover. If there comes a time when it is determined that the pet cannot be returned to the family (as determined by the family), HUA finds loving new homes for them.


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].