United Way




CFC-Federal #75875

United Way #8363

CVC-Virginia #200300


The alarm goes off at 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning. Rick climbs over his dog Buddy and just barely clears a direct step on Misty, who is curled up in a fur ball on a rug beside the bed. It’s a quick run for Buddy, a shower, breakfast for the kids and, if he’s lucky, a quick bite to eat before heading out the door for another busy day.

At this point in his life, Rick doesn’t have time for anything outside of his family and career. Although Rick cannot commit volunteer time, he made the decision to participate in the United Way/CFC campaign. His love for animals and interest in saving them prompted him to designate his contributions to HART. Rick has pledged $25 per pay period (or $650 per year) to HART.

About 50 miles away, Erin fumbles through her bag for the key to the building. She is late again, as she is most Mondays. Erin dreads Monday for it is euthanasia day at the shelter where she works. Erin rushes to her computer hoping for responses to her last minute plea for help from area rescue groups. She just needs one more commitment to avoid having to kill today. Dudley is an old foxhound with a big goofy head and a long tail that wags so much that it has been taped to prevent further cuts from the shelter walls. She knows that it’s a long shot at his age but knows too that he would bring so much joy to someone if he just had a chance. She scans down the list -- “no . . . full . . . not this week . . . sorry . . . no . . .” until finally she sees, “yes, we can take Dudley.” The email is from Nancy, a HART volunteer.

Nancy arrives at the shelter at 3:30 p.m. to pick Dudley up. Erin thanks Nancy and HART for answering her plea on Dudley’s behalf. Nancy responds that HART is only a vehicle that brings together the many resources needed to continue to help save lives. It’s the collective efforts of the community of people who have committed their love, time and money that saved Dudley today.

  • Rick didn’t have time but he had money to give.
  • Erin didn’t have the money to save Dudley but she had love and made time to make an appeal for his life.
  • Nancy committed her time by volunteering and transporting dogs like Dudley out of danger and in to the care of HART.

HART brought Rick’s monetary donation, Erin’s plea for help, and Nancy’s commitment of time together. As a result, Dudley and thousands like him are alive today!

We can all make a difference, regardless of where we are in our lives. It takes all of us! They are counting on us!

How your contributions have saved precious lives

The best way to describe how urgent the need for your continuous donations through CFC/United Way is to share with you just a few desperate cases that HART was able to accept this year because of your commitment.

Meet Lindsay
At nearly 6 months of age,  Lindsay was a mere 13 pounds when they pulled her out of the cat crate where she had spent the majority of her life. She was covered in urine and feces with no food or water.

HART regularly encounters underweight dogs but when Lindsay’s rescuer reached in to pick her up she was moved to tears. Lindsay, who should have weighed close to 40 pounds, was just a skeleton, difficult to touch. Veterinarians were amazed that she had survived.

Lindsay’s confinement was so complete that her feet were completely flat but her spirit was very much alive. When pulled from the tiny crate, Lindsay managed to lean in to her volunteer for affection.

During her first days of freedom, Lindsay had to learn how to walk and run. Her foster mom described her as a newborn foal on wobbly legs. Lindsay has put on significant weight and continues to thrive. She is currently in a foster home awaiting a forever home.

Meet Belle and Secret
The difficult economy has resulted in an increase of abandonment cases. HART was recently contacted when two cats, Belle and Secret, were dumped off at a local pet store. Belle is 15 years old and Secret is 8.

Secret was placed in to a loving forever home. At age 15, Belle will be far more difficult to place. Not only is Belle a senior, but she was also diagnosed with chronic renal disease. This disease is not life threatening and can be managed by a special diet and quarterly visits to the vet to check her kidney levels.

Belle is now in a loving foster home where she patiently awaits her forever home.

Meet Tjan
Tjan is a female calico Persian who was purchased at a pet store by a family and placed in their garage to serve as their children’s playmate. Not long after she arrived, the family decided that they would breed Tjan. They placed a male tomcat in the garage with Tjan with the hope that they would mate.

The male tomcat attacked poor Tjan, leaving her with a massive wound on her eyeball. The family did not seek veterinary attention for Tjan until weeks later, by which time the eye had become so infected that her eyeball ruptured.

Fortunately, the veterinary practice that saw Tjan was one that worked with HART and they quickly contacted us. The family was not interested in pursuing the medical attention that Tjan so desperately needed so HART stepped in to take on her care. Tjan underwent an operation at our veterinary ophthalmologist to remove the damaged eyeball.

Tjan recovered well and has since made her way to her forever home. From suffering in a cold damp garage to sprawling out contentedly on a king-sized bed in her new home, Tjan seems very grateful to all who helped her cover that considerable distance.

Meet Ulysses
Ulysses was found wandering helplessly in a rural area of Virginia. He was weak, emaciated, and had a mass on the side of his face so large that it forced one eye shut. When Ulysses finally reached a veterinarian, he was diagnosed with a heavy load of heartworms and advanced lymes disease. The veterinarian who initially saw him and a subsequent specialty vet both recommended that Ulysses be euthanized due to his extensive health problems and his severely debilitated physical condition, both of which made any treatment extremely risky.

Fortunately for Ulysses, HART was not ready to give up hope. Under all the pain and fatigue there were signs of a fighting spirit and the will to go on. Hope was about all we had as we started Ulysses down his long, bumpy road toward full recovery.

Ulysses made a very special friend along his path toward health. A HART volunteer visited him every day during the month he was hospitalized to hand-feed, gently stroke and cajole him, raising his spirits and becoming his dearest friend and biggest advocate in the process.

Ulysses is making wonderful progress, though he is not yet completely out of the woods. The swelling has gone down on his face as the antibiotics continue to do their work. He is now eating with enthusiasm and has gained enough weight and strength to leave the hospital to be fostered by another HART volunteer, a good friend of his best friend in the entire world, who still visits him daily.

"It’s been a joy to watch, day by day, the making of a new dog -- from a terribly ill, forlorn creature who didn’t have the strength to lift his head to one who bounces up with abundant kisses for his daily visitor from HART and puts his nose to work on the treat pocket."
Volunteer and Ulysses Advocate

Meet Ariel
Ariel, just a year old, was picked up by a local shelter after wandering aimlessly for weeks in search of her family, who had moved away and left her. When animal control officers finally found her, she was limping and extremely underweight. Despite her starvation and ailing hip, Ariel was sweet and affectionate and HART was convinced this beautiful young German shepherd would quickly be adopted from the shelter.

Unfortunately, we got a call three weeks later that Ariel was very sick with pneumonia, down to 45 pounds, and would be euthanized within the next 24 hours at the veterinary practice where she had been taken. HART immediately agreed to take her. When our volunteer arrived to pick Ariel up, Ariel appeared shriveled and her eyes seemed hollow and hopeless as she peered out her cage. A young man at the practice, who had been caring for Ariel and hand-feeding her for several nights, appeared stricken when he saw the HART volunteer, thinking she was taking Ariel to be put down. He was ecstatic to find that Ariel was instead getting a new lease on life.

An x-ray of Ariel’s hip showed that she had probably been struck by a car at some point and was suffering from a painful dislocated hip and fractured spine. As of this writing, Ariel is scheduled for surgery with HART’s orthopedic surgeon who is optimistic that, post-surgery, she will suffer no lasting effects from her injuries. She is in a loving foster home, has gained 14 pounds, and according to a HART volunteer who just visited her, “absolutely glows” with improving health and contentment. Ariel has attracted a sizable fan club with a woman as far away as Michigan offering to help with her expenses. We don’t expect Ariel to be with us long after she becomes available for adoption.

Will make the difference between LIFE and DEATH!

The annual United Way/CFC Campaign drive is the most important time of year for HART. HART is funded by individuals like YOU through the United Way/CFC campaign and generous donations throughout the year. HART adoption fees cover only a small fraction of our expenditures, so without YOUR SUPPORT through the United Way/CFC campaign and general donations, we would no longer have the funding to save the hundreds of dogs and cats that come through our program each year. The decision YOU make now during the United Way/CFC campaign of 2009 will make the difference between LIFE and DEATH for many dogs and cats. You have the power to bestow the gift of life, which is exactly what you’ll give when you commit a portion of your paycheck to homeless dogs and cats through HART.

If your employer does not participate in the United Way/CFC campaign, you may choose to donate directly to HART.

Please do not delay! Designate HART TODAY!

United Way #8363 – CFC Federal #75875 – CVC Virginia #200300