Heartland Animal Rescue Team
(HART) was founded in the spring of 1987 by a group of concerned
citizens in the Brainerd Lakes area. At that time there were really no
advocates for the unwanted, stray, neglected and abused animals. HART
started out with very little money and a handful of volunteers who were
willing to do everything from foster care to raising money and whatever
else was needed to succeed.
From 1987 to 1990 HART operated with volunteers and foster homes. In
1990 a generous donor donated money to rent a store front in Brainerd.
That was the opportunity HART needed to get the animals in the eyes of
In 1992 HART purchased the building on Dellwood Drive in Brainerd. After
many hours of volunteer labor and many dollars worth of donated
materials, HART opened the doors to the shelter we all know today.
At that point HART was financially stable enough to hire five (5) staff
members including an office manager, kennel manager and three (3) kennel
assistants. HART also secured impound contracts with thirteen (13) local
municipalities to house impounded animals. That was the backbone to the
financial stability HART needed to operate. It was also a step forward
in helping the original mission of helping animal.
HART maintained a successful business over the years. The annual income
budget increased from $10,000 in 1992 to the present annual income
budget of $430,000. As the business was growing financially it was also
growing in many other areas. An education program was developed and
implemented, serving all ages, public awareness was heightened and
shelter care had become top-notch.
In the spring of 2014 HART underwent an extensive renovation of the
shelter. The cost of the renovation was about $500,00 and the shelter is
state of the art today. Visit the renovation page for details.
HART has a staff of thirteen including an executive director, shelter
manager and office manager. It was a goal of HART to hire a shelter
manager that was a Vet Tech, in 2000 that goal was reached when Alesha
Rothberg joined the staff.