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The place where the animals come first.

About Us

Since its founding in 2003, HART has worked closely with the Garrett County Animal Shelter to save the lives of homeless pets that would otherwise be euthanized. To prevent the spread of disease, HART vaccinates all puppies and kittens received at the county shelter. An extensive network of rescue organizations and shelters transport volunteers has enabled HART to save more than 6,000.

By the summer of 2007, H.A.R.T. realized that rescue and transport alone would not be a permanent solution for the hundreds of homeless pets arriving at the Garrett County Shelter every year. The organization changed its name to HART for Animals to reflect a larger purpose–building a first-class animal adoption center for Garrett County and the region by raising private funds. In November, 2007, the Garrett County Commissioners showed their support for HART's undertaking by agreeing to donate the land on bumble Bee Road in Accident, MD.

(See HART Facts

What We Do  

HART has four programs to carry out its mission: building the HART Animal Center, operating the HART Spay/Neuter Clinic, continuing rescue & transport activities, and promoting education and awareness of humane animal treatment. At present, HART does not do individual adoptions. It will begin adoptions once the HART Animal Center is in full operation.

The HART Animal Center

The idea to build an animal adoption center in Garrett County began when it became clear that the county would not be able to improve the existing county animal shelter facility due to limited resources and many competing priorities. After four years of working with the county shelter rescuing and transporting adoptable animals, HART decided to raise private funds to build an animal adoption center.  

The motivation was twofold: by building a facility, HART could significantly reduce the number of animals that would be euthanized by allowing them to wait a longer period for adoption in larger and more comfortable surroundings; and HART could create a new approach to animal sheltering in smaller communities by combining the compassion of animal welfare organizations with the practicality of raising enough revenue to support the rescue and adoption operations. 

The first section of the HART Animal Center contains:

The Bredel Veterinary Clinic - a full-service veterinary clinic, providing comprehensive services for cats and dogs, including preventive care, laboratory, radiology, surgery, pharmacy, and dental care. The Bredel Center will continue to provide low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for pets of qualifying clients.

The Bed 'n Bark Inn - 25 dog dens and 18 cat condos for all pet guests, with various a la carte amenities, such as web-accessible video, special pampering, exercise, and TLC sessions. (Video is only available in selected dog dens.) The Animal Center is staffed 24 hours a day.

MUTTWorks Grooming - A grooming salon where pet guests can be bathed, trimmed, and beautified while at the pet hotel. Lindy is truly a groomer to the stars - the animal stars, of course!

 The HART Shoppe - Gifts for pets and people, plus grooming and training items, pet toys, leashes, and more. Located in the reception area .

The Community Room - A room that can be rented for children's parties, meetings, lectures.

The second and final section of the Center will be the Adoption & Shelter Wing. Construction is projected to start in the spring of 2015.



The HART Animal Center is located at 1265 Bumble Bee Road, in Accident, Maryland, one and a half mile from Garrett College.

Naming opportunities are available to individuals and businesses who wish to make contributions of $500 or more. Donors can sponsor a special area, room or item in the Center and have it inscribed in a unique way to honor their business, a member of their family, a friend, or a beloved pet. Your compassion will be recognized for many years to come by placing a plaque next to the structure or item, which we have obtained through your generosity. For more information on giving, email giving@hartforanimals.org or call 301.387.8085.

For the list of available opportunities, please click on the dog:


The HART Spay/Neuter Clinic opened in November 2009 at 24457 Garrett Highway in McHenry Plaza and since then, it has spayed/neutered 4,500 animals. Doing the math, the numbers are staggering. An unspayed or unneutered domestic pet can produce a minimum of 10 offspring - and this is a conservative number!

This means that HART, its volunteer vets, its donors, and its clinic staff have prevented the birth of 45,000 animals!

This is why low-cost spay/neutering has been incorporated into the Bredel Veterinary Clinic. Pet owners who qualify financially can request assistance to get their pets neutered. 

To find out if you qualify, download the application by clicking on the kittens. If you qualify, please fill out the application, attach your proof of income and send it to HART by mail at P.O. Box 623, McHenry, MD 21541; by fax to 240-597-0058; by e-mail to info@hartforanimals.org; or in person by dropping it off at the HART Animal Center.


In 2014, HART was awarded a grant from the Maryland Spay and Neuter Program to assist pet owners who cannot afford the low fees of the HARThelp program. This new program is called the "Lifesaver" because it saves hundreds of lives.

The Lifesaver Spay/Neuter Program is made possible by a grant from the Maryland Department of Agriculture. HART for Animals is currently accepting applications and scheduling appointments for their program.  HART was one of 14 organizations across the state to receive the award. A total of 51 applications were received.

The Lifesaver Spay/Neuter Program entitles low income pet owners who are Maryland residents to spay or neuter up to six pets per household (under 7 years of age) and vaccinate them against rabies at no cost to the owner.  Eligibility is determined in accordance with Maryland WIC guidelines, food stamps and other government benefits. Pet owners must show proof of income that is 10% below WIC guidelines or proof of government assistance.

You can download the Lifesaver application by clicking on the picture of the puppy below:



Since 2003, HART for Animals, Inc. has been working with the Garrett County Animal Shelter to rescue the animals that arrive at the shelter but not adopted or returned to their owners. Due to the shelter’s space limitations, animals who are not adopted immediately may be euthanized to allow room for other incoming animals. By working cooperatively with the shelter, HART typically is able to transport 50% of these animals to reputable regional rescue groups.


Socialization is one of the most important things you can do for a puppy or newly adopted dog–and cats, too. An unsocialized animal can become confused, scared, and defensive in unfamiliar situations. Properly exposing your puppy or new dog to people and other animals is the best way to help it become a fun, lovable and mild-mannered companion.

HART generally opposes chaining or tethering dogs. An otherwise friendly dog, when kept continually chained and isolated, often becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious, and aggressive. Chained dogs are much more likely to bite than unchained dogs and cannot escape attacks by other animals or people. Alternatives include installing an electric or other type of fence; building an extra-large dog run; or providing your pet with acceptable places to dig such as its own sandbox. A dog that is inside the house is much more likely to deter an intruder than a dog chained in the yard.

Enroll your dog in an obedience class-especially if its behavior is the main reason you keep your dog outside.

Kindness to animals begins with early education. National animal welfare organizations have many resources to assist schools and parents in teaching responsible pet ownership. Visit the National Humane Education Society for publications and resources. and the American Kennel Club to learn about teaching children how to be safe around dogs.