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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 potential adopters.

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.




( Tucker came in really skinny and had eaten salami cases that had strings attached. He also had frozen ears and a massive herniated umbilical cord. After recovery he was adopted and couldn't be happier. )



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Contact Us:






15494 Dellwood Dr.

Brainerd, MN 56401


Monday: CLOSED

Tuesday - Saturday: 11-5

Sunday: 11-2

Volunteer Opportunities

Surrender Policy

Fun Pics:
Pics Around Shelter

Happy Tails:
Successful Adoptions

Spay & Neuter:
Low Cost Spay/Neuter