Friday’s Focus: Hearts United for Animals

I took today off from work to get caught up with reviews I need to write, laundry I need to do, cleaning and stuff. I logged onto Facebook and one of the first things I noticed was a post from my friend Diane from She had shared some information about a group called Heart United For Animals.  The information was a link to a story Heart United For Animals had posted on their blog titled: Animal Flood Victims Rescued-Please Help.  I couldn’t ignore the plea for help, so I clicked on the story and began to read………

The Missouri River Flood is devastating people and animals in the area surrounding the shelter.  Animals are pouring in as families evacuate their homes, knowing that it may be months before they can return.  Many Hamburg, Iowa residents evacuated early as water crept closer, knowing that levees were not likely to hold.  HUA staff and volunteers went to Hamburg offering to take in animals who had nowhere to go.  They were immediately taken up on the offer returning with a van load of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens.  They left information with the sheriff on how to get in touch if animals were found abandoned.

Reports were coming into HUA that some animals had been locked in homes or tied to dog houses as the water crept closer.  Volunteers continued to go out and search returning each day with animals in desperate need.

Finally in a catastrophic event that happened in seconds the main levee broke open and water was no longer seeping, it gushed in full force toward the town of Hamburg.  The remaining people who were holding out hope that all would be okay headed straight for Hearts United for Animals to leave their animals in the care of loving staff and volunteers while they sought shelter as their houses were destroyed.

To read the story in its entirety click here.  How could I turn my back on this plea?  How can anyone?  These types of stories are why I am so glad I have a blog and many faithful readers who don’t hesitate to pull together when I post something like this.  I immediately emailed the folks at Hearts United for Animals and asked them if they could get some information about their organization to me, along with some pictures I could post, so I could add them to our Fridays’ Focus segment today.  They are so thankful that I contacted them as they could really use us, all of us, to help them spread the word about what they are doing to help and the donations they really need.

“In addition to the food, medical care and housing costs, caregiving staff has been added to help make sure all of the animals are comfortable, clean, loved and well cared for.” The story goes on to say,  “We are asking that you please contribute to help the animals who so desperately need you now.”

Please help me spread the word and help me get the message out that this organization is in desperate need of funds to continue their mission.  If you could please post this story on FB, Tweet on Twitter, and blog, if you have a blog, they would be very grateful.

Warning: Some details below from Hearts United for Animals may be disturbing to read for some.

Each Friday we highlight a 501 © (3) pet charity. We hope that in highlighting these worthy causes, it brings awareness to their mission and maybe even the ultimate: a forever family for an adoptable dog. Today, however, I hope that by highlighting Hearts United for Animals, it will raise the funds they so desperately need.

Name of your organization: Hearts United for Animals

Web Address:

Mission of your organization: Hearts United for Animals is a no-kill shelter, sanctuary and animal welfare organization dedicated to the relief of suffering. We take the creatures who are lost, afraid, hungry or ill and comfort them, give them a warm soft bed, good food, medical care and most of all, love. In many ways this is a very easy thing to do because these are lovely grateful animals who give a world of love in return. In other ways, it is very difficult because the number of animals in need is so large.

We have a dream for the future – a future where all dogs and cats are spayed or neutered so there is never an unwanted litter, a future where the horror of euthanasia is ended finally and forever, a future where all dogs and cats have homes with people who love and care for them. This is our dream. We will work for the rest of our lives to accomplish it.

Our gratitude to the thousands and thousands of people across the world who support our efforts and goals is heartfelt. Together we are a powerful symbol of kindness, love and mercy.

How long has your organization been operating? 1994

Describe some of your programs:

Hearts United for Animals not a typical shelter. The dogs share large yards where they romp and play with friends. We know and love every one of our dogs. Every dog at Hearts United for Animals has been altered and is current on healthcare. We can tell you in detail about their personalities, likes and dislikes.

Hearts United for Animals is located on a 65-acre farm of trees and grass. We care for over 300 dogs at any time. All of the dogs at the Shelter are well loved and happy. If you have the opportunity to come to Nebraska, we hope that you can stop in and visit the dogs.

Hearts United for Animals is a place of happiness, joy and love. Everything we do is in the best interest of the dogs. Our primary concern is what will make them happy. We take dogs who have been abused, and we heal their bodies and their hearts. Hearts United is a place to celebrate the joy of life.

We operate many special programs that have a track record of success.

Hearts United for Animals is the innovator of long-distance adoptions. Beginning in 1993, we have placed dogs in 45 states and Canada. HUA has even been honored by the Smithsonian Institute for our outstanding use of technology in the placement of dogs though our Jet Set Dogs program.

Hearts United for Animals rescues special needs dogs across the nation. These are dogs that can be helped but tax the resources of their rescuers. They receive specialized care and go on to live happy lives.

Those dogs that cannot be adopted stay with us as Sanctuary Sweethearts. They will enjoy loving care for the rest of their lives at the Shelter.

Hearts United for Animals operates an extensive anti-puppy mill effort nationally. We supply expertise, organization, and multitudes of printed media materials for groups and individuals operating in many states to educate the public regarding the mills.

Hearts United for Animals has operated a very low-cost spay/neuter clinic since October of 2003. The Spay/Neuter Program serves a 4-state area and is so extremely popular that a waiting list exists at all times. Over 8,500 cats and dogs have been altered by mid 2011 preventing untold numbers of suffering little ones from being born.

Hearts United for Animals assists families of the Midwest region with vet care for their animals when the families are unable to pay. This very often means responding to an emergency call for a suffering pet that can have the care it needs because HUA is going to pay.

Tia was a shepherd mix who knew what it meant to be beaten in her own home. The person who was supposed to care for her beat her in the head with a baseball bat. Her head was smashed and her teeth destroyed. It’s a miracle that she survived. After several surgeries to provide some relief from her injuries, she lived at HUA for three years until she died of cancer. In honor of her spirit we created Tia’s Place which is a refuge for pets fleeing domestic violence.

Hearts United for Animals emphasizes animal welfare education for young people. Many youth groups tour the shelter, enjoy the rural setting, play with the dogs, and receive information on animal care and overpopulation. Our curriculum for schools is available to the public at no charge.

What is your biggest challenge? Rescuing and rehabilitating so many puppy mill dogs. We are located in the black heart of puppy mill country, where they surround us by the thousands.

What other information would you like my readers to know about your organization?
Since 1996, HUA has rescued over 7,500 puppy mill dogs.
We are currently rescuing dogs from the Missouri River Flood and could use your help. We have also taken in 21 dogs from a neglect case and 22 from a puppy mill just within the past week.


Note: Photos used with permission from Hearts United for Animals.

3 Responses to “Friday’s Focus: Hearts United for Animals”

  1. Diane says:

    Thanks Doreen for highlighting this organization. HUA does phenomenal work and is an organization of compassion and integrity. Please, please, please everyone donate what you can to this group. They have an enormous task ahead of them this summer. The Missouri River will be at and above flood stage throughout the Summer, it’s anybody’s guess whether all the levees will hold. The last levee in Hamburg, Iowa,(referenced in the story) has started leaking. This is the last one until the entire town and community is flooded. And remember this flooding will continue for the summer not just a few days or weeks. HUA NEEDS our help.

  2. This sounds like a wonderful organization! If we were in a flood and a van pulled up offering to take all the pets to safety until we could be reunited with Mama again, we would feel like it was a van driven by angels!

  3. Chris Sealock says:

    Hearts United is THE BEST OF THE BEST!!!!
    What Carol Wheeler does for animals is like no other.
    She eats, breathes, sleeps, inhales and lives…for HUA.
    If you have not met the need sometime in this life time! She truly is an Angel in human form…for all animals that are homeless or need to be rescued.
    She has a calling, and she listened to that still small voice and acted on it. Most of us hear it..but don’t listen and act.
    Although I can not support them physically…I support Carol and her HUA in EVERY way possible. Please please please visit her website….HUA…and do all you can to help…physically, financially, spiritually…in any way you can.