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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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Posted by on in Uncategorized
ShyanneWebCats, cats, cats!  Everywhere we look there are cats and kittens.  Hearts United for Animals has had to expand the cat quarters, making temporary housing in the clinic building as well as some of our isolation areas.  It was a very tough season for kittens.  We have many babies in addition to the adult cats.  They showed up in boxes at the end of the driveway, farmers brought them in from the area, some were found under houses and in fields.  They are all friendly, sweet, adorable and cuddly and oh so happy to be rescued!  They would love to have forever homes, and the staff at HUA would love to be back into their 'cat comfort zone' and get some adopted so that overcrowding is not an issue.

If you are considering adopting a cat now is a wonderful time.  Now through the end of the year you will receive a Hearts United for Animals tote bag with top of the line Taste of the Wild cat food, toys and treats.  The cats and kittens are able to travel long distance as well.  Just write to us at hua@hua.org to find out about all of the lovely cats for adoption and discuss travel arrangements.

Shyanne, pictured here, was rescued from a small town where people noticed her wandering around lost for weeks.  She has only three legs.  She is one of the sweetest cats we have ever met.  Her very favorite thing is to snuggle in soft beds.  She and her cat friends at HUA would love a home of their own with people to snuggle with and care for them forever.  Please spread the word about Shyanne and her friends.

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The jury trial for Julia Hudson, of Malcom, Nebraska, was set to start Sept 9th. Ms Hudson is the former owner/breeder of the 19 Lancaster County Rockstars that Hearts United for Animals rescued on April 15th, 2013. 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, that only represented half. The rest are still there, suffering, and it is suspected that she has added more. 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. She was charged with animal cruel neglect/abandonment. It is a class 1 misdemeanor.  On September 5th she pled no contest and was found guilty.  We believe it was in an effort to avoid the media attention she knew was coming with our demonstration.  Her attorney insisted upon sentencing that day, no doubt so that she could avoid negative publicity.  The county attorney insisted on a pre-sentence investigation and the judge agreed.  She will be sentenced at a later date.  This will give time to gather more documents to be submitted for consideration.  On Sept 9th we need to make our voices heard.  See below to RSVP on our Facebook events page or email lori@hua.org.  We will have 150 signs featuring the dogs we rescued and photos of the conditions inside the Taj Mahal kennel owned by Julia Hudson.  The signs will be imploring the judge to implement 28-1019, which will sentence Mrs. Hudson to not own animals again for a period of 5 years.  We do not find anything less to be acceptable.  Fines won't stop her.  Jail time would be nice, but won't stop her.  Taking away her breeding license still means that she can own dogs, and we are not certain that the Nebraska Department of Agriculture will take away her license.  NO MORE DOGS FOR HUDSON is our request to the judge.

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 dogs rescued can be viewed here:


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Scene3In the month of July, Hearts United for Animals rescued 37 puppy mill dogs from mills in Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.  The 17 from South Dakota were surprisingly young.  Many of them are just puppies!  When we asked the puppy miller why she was giving them up she said that even the most adorable highly sought after breeds were not selling.  This is fabulous news, as it means that public education efforts are paying off.  People know not to buy puppies from pet stores or online, because they are becoming educated on the conditions that the parents of those cute little puppies live in.  They know that if they give that pet store or online retailer their money it will mean continued misery for the parents who are trapped in filthy cages year after year with no human interaction, poor veterinary care - if any, and many times even a lack of clean food and water.  The public is starting to understand that they are the number one vehicle to effect change - they have the power to stop puppy mills.  The HUA veterinarian still found the typical conditions in many of the dogs, including mammary tumors, infections and terrible teeth, but at least because the dogs were younger their conditions were not as advanced.  The puppies are having a wonderful time at HUA, just so happy to be able to run and play in grass for the first time, and learn about toys and hugs and kisses and tummy rubs.

The 15 dogs who came from Minnesota were not as lucky.  It was clear that the long confinement in exceptionally rotten conditions had taken a toll.  We knew the minute we saw them that their medical needs would be extensive and their emotional scars would be vast.  One sweet little maltese could not even be identified as a particular breed until she had the years of caked on filth and mats shaved off.  It took the staff and volunteers hours to find her hiding under all of the crud.  Her back legs were fused together with matted waste from living in inches of feces and urine.  She had trouble even going to the bathroom.  It was very painful.  She was so happy to be clean and free for the first time in years.  Two of the dogs were so completely wild with fear of humans that they could not be handled when they arrived.  They had to be coaxed from their travel crate into their large open wire crate in the intake/quarantine area.  They hung their heads and would not make eye contact once they were in their new accommodations.  They wouldn't eat or drink with humans near them.  They are going in for their veterinary work now.  Many had rotten teeth dangling by a thread, causing them to be virtually unable to eat.  They will receive soft food until their mouths heal from the extensive work and extractions that will need to take place.

The 5 dogs from Nebraska, all Pomeranians, had also led a very rough life.  Their medical needs have been ongoing since they arrived in early July.  But they are happy and grateful to have all the comforts provided to them at HUA.  Just the smallest things make a difference - the opportunity to go outside several times a day, clean nutritious food, fresh water, a blanket to call their own, a clean place to sleep.  It means the world to them.

While it is so sad to see dogs in this condition, it is also happy that they now have a chance at normal, healthy lives.  They have a chance to be adopted and be the loving family members they always should have been.  The South Dakota mill is going out of business by choice, because the pups are not selling.  The Minnesota mill is going out by force from government officials.  The Nebraska one says they are going out of business, but we aren't so sure and will monitor the situation.  July was a very good month for these 37 dogs, and the war on puppy mills.  Please continue to spread the word - Don't Shop.  Adopt!  It makes all the difference for dogs who continue to suffer, held prisoner, all in the name of greed.  YOU can stop puppy mills!

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Please consider a donation for these dogs' care by going to our donation page at www.hua.org or mailing a check to Hearts United for Animals PO Box 286, Auburn, NE  68305.  If you are interested in adopting one please write to tera@hua.org for more information.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized
Carrick and his pals at HUA received an exciting message this week from a wonderful supporter who wishes to do all she can to help HUA save lives and provide comfort for dogs and cats in need.  Her greatest desire is to achieve freedom from suffering for all animals.  To help increase the amount of care HUA can provide for those who need us most, she decided that starting today through July 4th she will match all donations dollar for dollar until the goal of $10,000 is reached!

This dear, generous supporter, who wishes to remain anonymous, put Carrick in charge of the festivities for Freedom Week.  She knew that he was the oldest, wisest and has known great suffering in his life.  Carrick lives in the meeting room at HUA.  He is estimated to be 13 years old.  He was found in the country where he had been wandering by himself for a very long time.  He was weak, filthy, emaciated, covered in tumors, heartworm positive and deaf.  The HUA veterinarian was not even sure that Carrick would survive heartworm treatment.  Carrick disagreed though and knew he could do it, and he did!  He is one very happy old man now.  Most days he can be found snoozing away on his big soft bed.  He only likes to be outdoors for a short while, much preferring his new indoor accommodations.  He still marvels at the fresh food and water that are all his, and he adores the affection of all of the people who pass through to see him each day.  He was very excited to learn about Freedom Week and knew he had to pull out all the stops to get word out to the HUA supporters.  Carrick knows how wonderful it is to be rescued, comforted, loved and freed from years of suffering.

Throughout the week Carrick will be featuring his friends who have also been freed from lives of suffering.  They will be joining him in the week long party to celebrate this marvelous gift.  The celebration, including many more dogs dressed in their best party attire, will take place on the HUA Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/heartsunitedforanimals.  Carrick will post totals regularly so that everyone knows how close he and his pals are to meeting their $10,000 goal - and turni ng that $10,000 into $20,000!  Although he is deaf, Carrick can see well (especially with his snazzy new glasses) and is very sharp - so he has been appointed the accountant for the fund-raising event.
Carrick asks that you please consider a donation for Freedom Week so that more animals can be spared from lives of suffering and go on to be content and free.  He and his friends send their heartfelt gratitude and promise to do their best to entertain you and bring you heartwarming stories of happiness and love on Facebook throughout the week.

Many thanks go out to the anonymous donor providing match funds, and to all of our wonderful supporters to who are always there to make sure that HUA can assist dogs & cats in need.

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Nine month old Rex saved his family last night when home invaders broke into their home, threw the woman of the house to the ground and held her by the throat.  Rex charged the intruders and was shot by the second one.  They fled and have not yet been captured.  Rex sustained severe injury to his left front leg where the bullet entered and has a broken toe on his right rear foot where the bullet exited.  Rex was transported to the Animal Emergency Clinic in Omaha in severe distress and pain from the bullet wounds.  The family was so very proud of Rex, and yet devastated because they did not have the funds they would need in order to save his life.  The clinic called an Hearts United for Animals director at 2:00 am asking if HUA would help to save Rex's life, and hopefully his leg.  There was no hesitation.  Rex was truly a hero and deserved every chance to recover and go home to his beloved family.  Efforts began immediately to stabilize him and and get him comfortable with pain medication.  This morning he was transferred to Mobile Animal Clinic, HUA's preferred veterinary clinic in Omaha, where he has been given the largest recovery suite with a big bed, although being an Akita/Husky mix he prefers the cool floor most of the time.  The best orthopedic specialist in Omaha was called in to review Rex's x-rays and it was determined that although the operation will be intricate, he believes he can save Rex's leg.  The biggest risk now is infection.  Because of the bullet wound and bone fragments Rex will need to be on IV antibiotics until Tuesday, when the infection should subside enough to safely perform the operation that involves many pins and plates.  He will be hospitalized at Mobile Animal Clinic for approximately a week and then will have a 12 week recovery period when he goes home to his family.  The family is beyond grateful for Hearts United for Animal's help in saving Rex, who they call their hero and their big fluff ball.  The expenses for Rex are expected to total $6,000.  Both of his veterinarians are contributing to decrease the amount and Rex has received a substantial donation from another wonderful HUA supporter and board member.  It will be a long road, and donations for our emergency medical fund are always needed.  Please donate online at www.hua.org and note "emergency medical fund" or "Rex" in the comment section or click here to go directly to our donation page.  We are also offering a $5,000 private reward for the capture and conviction of the criminals who shot Rex.  Please contact the Omaha Police Department Crime Stoppers Unit at 402-444-STOP with tips, or you can write to us at hua@hua.org and we will pass along the information to the Omaha Police Department.

Today we received this message from Erin at the Animal Emergency Clinic regarding her experience with Rex last night and the work HUA does to help dogs in desperate need.  She agreed that we could share it with you:

Dear HUA,

I have been a vet tech at the Animal Emergency Clinic for almost 10years now. During that time I have cared for many animals, some only needed a little care, others needed a miracle. I have witnessed animals that have walked out of our hospital when nobody thought they would be able to. Last night, when Rex and his family came to us I was so proud of him for saving his family. He is a hero! When I learned that his family may not have the funds to help him, I was devastated. Here was this beautiful, stoic puppy that did the only thing that he knew to do to keep the people he loved safe, but because of finances his future was unknown. I left work at about 1:30am knowing that the family was still searching for a way to help him. One of my assistants called me and asked what they should do, and I could only think of one last try, and that was to call you! Later I got a message saying that you had agreed to pay for the medical bills so this family could take there precious friend home. I was in tears when I heard the news. I have cared for many animals that your rescue has stepped in and saved. Sometimes I forget why I am in this profession, and last night I was reminded that it is to help those that cannot help themselves. I just wanted to tell you that your rescue and the many people that are a part of it are angels and I will never forget how generous and wonderful you are.

Thank you, for always being there, when sometimes others can't.

Erin Rankin

Our hearts are touched by this special message which highlights the importance of the work we do, and of course also we are deeply touched by Rex today.  The HUA board member who took the call has been to visit him several times today and he is doing very well, quite relaxed and sedated, being kept comfortable by his pain meds.  His family is making regular visits to see their precious boy as well.  Many thanks to all of our supporters who make this important work possible for dogs like Rex.

Please visit our Facebook page for updates on Rex and to see the links to the news coverage of his story.  More photos are posted below.

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