Hearts United for Animals rescued 13 dogs from horrible conditions in Thurston County NE in January, 2013. 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. 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 received thorough check-ups and wonderful care before arriving at the shelter.
All of these dogs, without exception, love people and are beyond sweet. For all that they lived in filthy little cages, they are clean dogs and know the bathroom is outside. The minute they had a yard, out they went. They love to run and play, and they are precious to people and one another. Because of their breeds, they must go to homes with tall fences and room to run. Additonally, given their natural instincts to hunt and chase, they can only be placed with families with no small dogs or cats.
This very precious little staghound underwent an emergency amputation of her tail 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. We were very worried about her and surrounded her with all the love we could possibly muster. Laurel is a brave soldier, though, and she has since fully recovered. She is the sweetest, most darling girl. She is also quite easy on the eyes and visitors often can be found staring in wonder as she flies about the yard. She loves going for long walks with her caregivers, and leans into us as if she never wants us to let her go. Laurel is so grateful to be free from the horror of her previous life and from the pain caused by her horrific injuries. She celebrates her freedom every second of the day.