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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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JuanBlog1After months of recovery Juan is expected to survive.  This dear little Chihuahua was rescued by Hearts United for Animals from one of the most filthy, horrific puppy mills in Nebraska.  He had a sore on his side and his ribs were misshapen.  Initially the veterinarian thought that Juan had caught his side on wires or sustained the injury from dog fights at the puppy mill.  He has been on multiple types of antibiotics, but nothing was helping, the infection was becoming worse.  This week Juan made a trip to the Iowa State Veterinary Hospital where it was found that his infection was from a contaminated microchip that the breeder inserted.  It migrated and the infection spread throughout his body as the chip moved.  The surgeons at Iowa State performed deep tissue surgery, removing a large amount of infected flesh.  Juan stayed in intensive care there for several days.  He has just been released and is staying with Erica, an adopter of HUA dogs and employee of the veterinary hospital.  In addition to Juan's infection it was also found that he had three broken ribs from a blunt trauma injury he sustained at the puppy mill, veterinarians said either from being kicked or hit with an object.  JuanXrayBlogHis ribs healed poorly and calcified making them twice the size that they should be.  There is no way to fix it, it will be a permanent condition.  His lung x-rays showed bright spots that veterinarians felt was from inhaling a chemical reacting agent at the puppy mill.  That will also remain a permanent condition caused by neglect at the puppy mill.

Despite all of Juan's issues he is one of the brightest, happiest, most adorable fellows we have ever met.  He knows he is being helped and appreciates the support of the caregivers and volunteers at HUA and Iowa State.  His caregivers describe him as sweet, innocent, and undemanding.  He adores attention from the people.  A soft stroke, a hug and a kiss mean so much to him.  He has an amazing spirit to have endured all he did for so many years and still be so forgiving of humans.  JuanHospitalBlog2Although his body is damaged and broken, his heart is telling him that life is just beginning, and he is so happy about that.  The smallest things mean so much to him; a soft bed to sleep in after years living in harsh conditions on filthy wire cage bottoms, good food and clean water, and most of all people who care deeply about him and express love and concern.  He is finally able to rest peacefully and comfortably.  Reports from Erica on Juan's first night at her home where he is staying for several days to finish his recovery were that he was sleeping comfortably next to her on the couch, enjoying watching his first movie, while having comfort and care.  He was smiling with relief to have his burdens lifted and soul soothed.  Juan will soon be back at HUA, where he will be available for adoption.  Our wish for Juan is to find a wonderful home with a family who will spend every day adoring him, caring for him and helping him make up for all of his lost, desperate years at the puppy mill.  JuanHospitalEricaBlogIf you are interested in learning more about Juan please write to tera@hua.org.  Contributions for his surgery and care can be made online at www.hua.org.

Juan's story has struck us to the core and shattered our hearts.  His fight to survive steels our resolve to help continue the fight against puppy mills and the pet stores who peddle the puppies of the sick, forlorn, abused and neglected parent dogs who are prisoners of their greed.  Mountains of evidence have been presented to the county attorney and Nebraska Department of Agriculture, and yet nothing is done to shut down this house of torture.  The abuse has been ongoing for years.  The puppy mill is listed on the Horrible Hundred by HSUS, as well as a top offender by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.  Nebraska's answer has been to strike deals with the puppy miller, downsizing her from 400 dogs to 300, then 200, and now hoping that she can care for less than 100.  HUA's stance is that if she had only one dog she would likely not care for it properly.  She has proven over and over again that the business of selling the offspring is all she cares about.  The dogs should be seized and she should be shut down for good.  For residents of Nebraska, voting counts.  Knowing the candidates stance on puppy mills and if they will continue the same old dirty, devious ways of protecting the breeders and their buddies in appointed offices, or if they will have the integrity to do what is right by the dogs is particularly meaningful right now as November approaches.  HUA and other animal welfare agencies cannot endorse candidates, but we can and do encourage you to conduct research before casting your votes.  Please think of Juan and encourage your friends never to buy puppies from pet stores, and to help fight the legal and moral issues surrounding the plight of thousands of suffering dogs.  Juan is just one dog, but he is one mighty little fellow who has a powerful story to tell regarding greed and corruption in this state.  Collectively animal loving voters in this state are a huge voice, one that can effect change for the animals.  Please help be a voice for Juan.
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CatherinePupsPool3Catherine was found out wandering.  She was abandoned, starving and left to die.  She was taken in by kind strangers who tried to nurse her back to health.  Unfortunately she was very ill and the people who found her did not have the resources to care for her.  When they called Hearts United for Animals for help they said that Catherine had not kept down food or water for at least five days.  She was skin and bones.  When she arrived at the HUA veterinarian's office they said she was at least 30 pounds underweight.  She was treated for parasites and slowly reintroduced to food.  As she was still struggling with gastrointestinal issues and making frequent trips back to the veterinarian's office for more tests, it was discovered that she was also pregnant.  That was a terrible diagnosis for a girl who was skin and bones and still having trouble eating, but HUA staff members did everything they could to keep her going.  She was moved to a foster home for round the clock care.  During the last few days before she gave birth she became gravely ill and was rushed to Urgent Pet Care in Omaha where she spent the weekend on antibiotics and fluids for pneumonia and dehydration.  Specialists were consulted and additional x-rays were taken to find out if there was a deeper cause for her inability to keep food down regularly.

Just as phone calls were being made and x-rays were being sent around the country for review, Catherine gave birth to seven fat, happy, healthy little pups.  Against all the odds they were just fine!  The nutrition Catherine had been able to keep down had gone directly to the pups.


As Catherine was starting to nurse her new babies, requiring even more of her precious resources, the call came in with a clue as what her main medical issue might be.  A radiology specialist thought that her esophagus was constricted, resulting in food not passing easily.  It was suggested that Catherine be fed in an upright position with special canned food blended with equal parts water.  Her foster mom is feeding her every two hours and Catherine now is happy with the routine of putting her paws up on the table top and lapping the food out of the bowl.  She also holds Catherine up in a vertical position for several minutes after each feeding to make sure the food has a chance to pass into her stomach.  Last week Catherine and her pups made the trip to Omaha for more tests where it was determined that the esophagus constriction is indeed severe.  When filled with food the upper part of her esophagus turns into the size of her heart and the part where the constriction is located is so small it is barely visible.  It is like a funnel.  Surgical specialists are reviewing her case to see if she is a candidate for an operation.  They feel that it may be caused by a persistent right aortic arch, a rare genetic defect.  Catherine is thought to be four years old.  Most dogs do not survive this long with that condition.  She cannot undergo more tests for definite answers until the puppies are weaned and her pneumonia is completely cleared up.  The good news is that she has kept all of her food down for over a week.  Because of the new feeding arrangement she should no longer aspirate food into her lungs, which is what caused her pneumonia.

If Catherine is not a surgical candidate she will likely do fine with a special chair made for megaesophagus dogs (a condition similar to Catherine's).  A company called Bailey Chairs 4 Dogs is already making one especially for her that they are donating at no cost.  This will mean no more eating off of the table while standing upright or having to be held upright after she eats.

We will keep you posted on Catherine's condition as we know more.  We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone who has donated to help Catherine and to the Bailey Chairs 4 Dogs company.  Catherine's expenses have been and will continue to be high, including 6 cans per day of prescription canned food that she is on right now while she needs extra nutrients for herself and the puppies, and special supplements and antibiotics as well.  Donations are still being accepted for her online by clicking here.  If you are interested in adopting Catherine or one of her puppies please email tera@hua.org.  They won't be ready to go for several weeks but they would love to have reservations lined up for wonderful homes!

Please enjoy our Youtube video of Catherine and her dear babies.  She is a wonderful mom.  She and her babies send you all their love...

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BodieBlogBodie is a gorgeous, happy four year old Golden Retriever.  He always had a small cyst on his chest/neck area and the veterinarian said it was no big deal.  But two weeks ago it suddenly grew to the size of a baseball overnight.  Bodie's temperature spiked, he wouldn't eat and was very lethargic.  His elderly owners took him to an urgent pet care facility.  His human mom is on disability and his human dad has terminal cancer.  They only had $200 to their name.  That would not even be enough to get Bodie through the night much less get him the ongoing care and operation he would need.  They thought they were going to have to have him put to sleep that night as their only option to relieve his suffering.  After the veterinarian recommended a call to HUA Bodie was soon started on an IV with fluids, antibiotics and antiemetics.  Bodie spent a week in the animal hospital recovering from his infection.  The cyst is on Bodie's jugular vein so the operation will be very delicate.  He just started eating again and was released to go home.  His family was so very grateful to have their boy back.  He is one of the only bright spots in the lives of a dear elderly couple who are suffering so much.  Bodie is not yet well enough for surgery.  He will have follow up visits, blood tests and more biopsies before he is ready for that.  A very skilled surgeon was found who will perform the operation when Bodie is ready.  The costs are being covered by Hearts United for Animals.  Updates on Bodie will be posted on our Facebook page.

Donations for Bodie's care can be made online by clicking here or you can contribute through Bodie's t-shirt fundraiser that runs through July 10th by clicking here.

Bodie and his family send their deepest gratitude for your support that is helping to save Bodie's life.



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Dakota1Yet another South Dakota puppy mill is closed for good!  Breeders near the North Dakota border contacted HUA because they had less than 10 days to be off of their property before they were evicted.  Rescuers from Hearts United for Animals drove 1,000 miles to rescue the 69 dogs at the facility, trying to get there and get out quickly before a terrible blizzard hit.  When the door to the facility opened the rescuers were knocked back by the stench.  The dogs who were not shaved down were so matted and filthy that the crud hung off of them in dreadlocks.  Many had skin raw from infection.  Several eye infections and injuries were noted as well as hernias and one of the worst mammary tumors we have ever seen.  One of the Dachshunds was missing a rear leg.  Another Dachshund had been butchered during a c-section to try to remove a "water baby" from her belly.  She had a hernia as well as bruising over her entire underside from the botched c-section where she was "cut from stem to stern", according to the puppy miller's own account.

This is one of the worst cases of suffering that HUA has seen recently.  It is not uncommon, but always startling and very sad.  This rescue reminds us of the importance of spreading the word about walking away from pet stores.  If there were no demand for the cute little pet store pups there would be no need for supply, and puppy mills would all go out of business as this one did.  We are winning the war on puppy mills.  Education is paying off, but there is still great need.  Although many puppy mills are out of business many more are still operating with dogs in similarly bad condition if not worse.  Please spread the word.  The parents of pet store puppies are suffering and dying every day.  Boycotting stores that sell puppies is the best way to cripple this industry of pure greed.

To donate for the extensive medical needs of these 69 dogs please click here to go to the Hearts United for Animals donation page.  Please share these dogs' YouTube video with your friends and family to let everyone know of the suffering of the parents of pet store puppies.




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FarrahBSince January 1st, 2014, Hearts United for Animals has rescued 117 dogs from 2 puppy mills in South Dakota that just closed their doors for good last week.  Rescuers battled 50 below wind chills, white out conditions and a vehicle malfunction as they made several 12 hour trips to rescue all of the dogs.  Other groups stepped up to help, taking in 32 of the 117 dogs.  For the remaining 85 dogs at Hearts United the vet bills are anticipated to near the $20,000 mark.  Farrah, pictured here, has had eye infection for so long that she has permanent vision loss.  She will see the eye specialist this week.

The dogs were all so filthy that rescuers nearly fainted at the smell.  The white dogs were yellow and even after many baths the staining cannot be removed.  A bath for one dog can be a several day project to chip away the caked on mess between their paws, trim their nails that are curled under so badly that they can barely walk, and shave all of the caked mats out of their fur.  Some cannot emotionally handle too much grooming at one time, so employees and volunteers work with them a little each day to get them cleaned up.

Poor Charlie Girl is having emergency hernia surgery this week.  She gave birth to litter after litter of puppies in the filthy, deplorable conditions at the mill until her body gave out.  Many of the dogs are suffering from severe dental disease, some with only one dangling, rotten tooth left.  The ones with the most severe dental disease are emaciated.  Every rib can be felt on their fragile little bodies because their mouths hurt too badly to eat the kibble provided for them at the puppy mill.  They are ravenously lapping up their soft canned food at Hearts United for Animals.  There have been several cases of ear mites and other parasites causing the dogs to scratch so much from the distress that they have wounds on their ears and bodies.

Even though Toulouse was suffering, he still kept an eye out on his little Chihuahua pal, Berto.  He has not left his side since they were rescued.  He wants to make sure that his pal is protected and safe, knowing he is very shy and afraid, and is also in pain due to his severe dental disease.

If you are interested in adopting one of the recently rescued dogs please contact tera@hua.org.  If you have adopted from HUA before there is no need to fill out another application.  You can also help by sending this email on to friends and co-workers to help find happy homes for the dogs at HUA and raise funds for their extensive medical needs.

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