Carol Wheeler and HUA

Most of us can remember an experience that first inspired our animal advocacy. I don't remember how I found Hearts United for Animals back in 1990; but, I do remember sitting in front of a computer at school, positively gripped by the individual journey of each animal. Today I still yearn to visit Hearts United someday. In the meantime, emails, newsletters, and telephone calls will have to suffice.

Great-grandmother, Carol Wheeler, is the founder of HEARTS UNITED FOR ANIMALS Hearts United for Animals in Auburn Nebraska. The last time I called HUA, Carol answered the phone herself - just after replacing a new tank on the water cooler. She is my life's inspiration.

Carol is so very devoted to ending the suffering of animals, that she becomes energized by every needy animal. In her own words: "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."

Somehow, when a dog's welfare is at stake, Carol always finds a way, not only for that dog but for others who may be suffering a similar plight. For example, everyone at HUA was transformed by a beautiful dog they named Tia Maria. A witness recounted Tia's story: "Tia bounded for the car as it pulled into the driveway. He was coming home from work. She knew he did not like her very much, but she kept hoping to win him over. When she jumped up to give him a loving greeting, she did not see the baseball bat he was holding behind his back. She felt a horrible pain in her head before she lost consciousness."

"The blows devastated her face, blinded her in one eye and destroyed her teeth. She was left at the farm house to die along with her unborn puppies. Somehow she lived, gave birth to the puppies and kept them alive until a neighbor told HUA about her. HUA went immediately to rescue this amazing girl. She watched as each of her puppies was carefully loaded into the shelter van. Then she was gently lifted inside. Although she had every reason to fear people, she was trusting and grateful for the kindness."

HUA rushed to Tia's aid, providing 4 essential surgeries to her mouth so that she could breathe and eat properly. Tia lived with Carol for the next 3 years until mammary tumors took her life at an early age. Even while mourning Tia's loss, Carol created Tia's Place at HUA - a program that takes in dogs from domestic violence situations. This program houses dogs from families that need to leave an abusive household. When the family eventually settles in a safe, new home, their pet is lovingly returned to them.

And what about those animals who have been so traumatized by abuse that they are not good candidates for adoption by a family? Carol has a plan for them too. They become Sanctuary Sweethearts at HUA, living the remainder of their years in comfort and with the loving companionship of fellow dogs and humans who adore them.

TiaCarol sees far beyond her own beautiful fields and yards at HUA. She works tirelessly to eradicate our nation's disgraceful and inhumane puppy mills. Carol's daughter, attorney Lee Wheeler, initiated the renowned Prisoners of Greed Campaign to eliminate puppy mills from our nation. Prisoners of Greed in turn has recently formed a united partnership with several animal welfare organizations fighting to put an end to puppy mills. These puppy mill fighters work together in A Coalition Against Misery.

- Georgette
July 2008