Change a Life

Dear Heartland Friends,

A few weeks ago, one of our longest-term dogs, Camden, left Heartland with his new mom. He had been in shelters for over a year, after spending much of the previous fall living in a cold, burned-out garage in Chicago.

To some, Camden is just another “pit bull mix,” one of many in shelters across the country. But we knew if we tried hard enough, we would find a home where he could live his life with love and security. It is what he deserves.

We could help Camden because we knew you would be there to help us. If it wasn’t for your donations, volunteering, fostering, adopting, and spreading the word, we could never care for a dog like Cam.

We hope your heart is full of pride for what you did for Camden and for the nearly 1,000 dogs and cats saved in 2022. The holidays are a time of gratitude for the good things in our lives, and we are grateful to be able to make a positive impact on so many animals.

It’s been a record-breaking year at Heartland. Among the adoption were 76 seniors, 264 kittens, and 97 puppies. We’ve had dogs and cats of all shapes and sizes, some needing intensive medical or behavioral help and others ready to go to their new homes soon after arriving at the shelter.

These dogs and cats came from a variety of situations. We rescued most from the chronically overcrowded Chicago city shelter, where about 500 animals are housed at any given time. In addition, some arrived from facilities in Kentucky, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. These states have the country’s most critically under-resourced open-access shelters.

While we are filled with happiness when we think of all the Heartland animals enjoying the holidays with loving families, we also think about those that are still in desperate need of help. Those that are still on the streets, doing their best to survive, and those in cages at shelters where a lack of space or too much time can be a death sentence.

This holiday season is the worst we have seen in the past decade, as the economic downturn means that more animals are in need, and the demand for our services is higher than ever.

We want to—we must—keep going because there are many more out there that need to be saved. Sometimes, it can feel overwhelming. But it’s not if we all do our parts. Your donations allow us to continue to care for the most vulnerable animals. These pets would not receive the same level of assistance anywhere else.

There is still time to make a tax-deductible donation before the year end, and it would mean so much to us to have your support. Thank you again for caring about our little shelter with a big heart and being a part of our community of compassionate animal lovers.

Kind regards,
Jenny Schlueter
Executive Director