Welcome to
Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids

Providing Advanced Medical Care to Homeless Animals in Eastern Iowa

Help Repair Broken Lives

Please join your friends at Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids and Teufelhund Veterans Group  Saturday May 21st for a Memorial  Motorcycle Ride in memory of Chuck Mincks, retired CRPD Police Lt., long term Critter Crusaders Board member and member of the amazing Veterans group, Teufelhund.  

ALL TYPES OF VEHICLES WELCOME on this day to commemorate our friend, Chuck.  Ride for a good cause with proceeds going to assist homeless animals with medical and surgical care.

Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids

Pets to Vets Program-Critter Crusaders Helping Our Community.

CC has a special program designed to assist our local elderly population with staying safe, while also allowing veterinary care of their pets to continue.  Our Pets to Vets program includes Frey Pet Hospital, Cedar Rapids Animal Hospital, VCA Edgewood Animal Hospital and Blairsferry Pet Hospital.  We have developed safe protocols for pick up and delivery of pets, including delivery of food and medications to assist our senior citizens who are clients of these hospitals. Here is the criteria:
*Clients must be 70 years old unless there are special exceptions.
*Critter Crusaders volunteers will pick pets up at the clients front door for scheduled vet appointments.
*Pets will be returned home in the same manner.
*Food and medications through the participating vet clinics only, can be delivered to senior clients that meet the criteria.
* CC volunteers will provide their own leashes, clients must have cats kenneled for pick up.
*All arrangements are to be made between client and vet clinic. Clients must be available by phone to speak directly with the doctors about their pet’s visit.
*CC will not accept calls for service from the public.  Each veterinary clinic will communicate with us directly for a request for service.
*Strict distancing, health and sanitizing protocols will be followed by our volunteers.
*Compliance with each veterinary clinics protocols will be followed.
*This is a FREE service through our organization.
We know you love your pets.  For their health and yours, Critter Crusaders is here to help❤️🐾


Saving Jake

A gravely injured cat was struck by a vehicle. To watch his struggle was more than he could take. Jake made a split second decision that would change this injured animal’s life forever. He pulled his big rig over, and ran into traffic. He scooped up the bleeding cat in his coat and placed him gently on the passenger seat. Jake knew this cat was severely injured. He drove him to Cedar Rapids, as he called for help. He contacted SAINTS Rescue and Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids.

This injured kitty’s life and luck changed with this sequence of events. In the days that followed, this kitty was transferred from Eastern Iowa Vet Specialty Center to Blue Pearl Specialty Clinic in Des Moines through Critter Crusaders. He had a collapsed lung, an open fracture of his right front leg, two other fractured femurs, a pelvis fracture and multiple lung contusions. Our little survivor underwent two days of specialized surgery and multiple days hospitalized in critical care. He purred his way through all of it. His survival was nothing short of a miracle, much like his rescue.

On Friday June 7th, at our Critter Crusaders Wine Tasting Fundraiser at the 1st Avenue Wine House, Jake Heiar became a true hero. He was presented with our Critter Crusader Life Saving Award for his brave and decisive actions, in front of 250 people who knew they were witnessing something very special. For the very first time since that fateful March day, Jake held his namesake, Jake the Cat, in his arms. The man who couldn’t drive by came full circle with the life he saved.

We have many choices in daily life. Some simple and others complex. Some occur in the blink of an eye and can impact the life of others if fate places us in a position of instant choice. Jake Heiar knew his heart. He had a immediate resolve and a split second determination to save a tiny flailing soul. Ask yourself if this is the type of individual you would want around if your loved one was suddenly injured and in need of help. We already know the answer. So on behalf of Critter Crusaders and SAINTS Rescue, we thank you Jake Heiar for being that person. Character, commitment, integrity, all wrapped into a loving heart. You have demonstrated the true meaning of rescue.

Amazing Gracie!

Life is full of unknowns.  Everything we do can be fraught with risk, or success.  When Gracie came to CC, her body condition was poor.  Within several days we knew what course her life would take.  She had advanced bladder cancer.  Although there is no cure, we believed that living well was something we could achieve for her, and we did. We chose to take the risk and err on the side of Gracie

There is so much we don’t know about her life. But we can say that we achieved success on her behalf.  For her to know love, security and to live well with cancer was our gift to her.  She knew the joy of many arms wrapped tightly around her and constant kisses.

 We knew from the start we were in for a loss, but that made our time with Gracie, sweeter.  From eating popcorn at foster mom Sue’s, to going bye-bye, to running in the yard with glee and meeting so many people who readily fell in love with her.   Gracie lifted everyone up.  It is her legacy.

The price of loving these animals always comes with a cost. But it’s the lesson’s they teach us along the way that can help us move on and apply them to our own lives.  Resilience,  courage,  living for the moment and loving each blessed day with no worries about tomorrow.  Gracie passed away happy, surrounded by people she knew and loved.  Success for our darling girl.

Thank you all for your love and support of our little baby doll. Special thoughts to foster mom and dad Sue and Mark Hartung along with our friends at UNO’s Promise.  Gracie will remain forever in our hearts as we work hard for the animals to come. 

What a wonderful legacy, sweet Gracie Marie.  The price of love?  It is so worth it.

Window to a New World

As Lilly Rose and her adopted brother Swayze share a peaceful moment together, we are reminded how worthwhile it is to save these lives.  Without the intervention of CC, neither of these dogs would be here. Swayze was struck and almost killed by a car on Oct. 13th.  He spent days in critical care and underwent two surgeries.  His sidekick on the bench next to him, Lilly Rose, came to CC several years ago with Tetrology of Fallot, (TOF), a fatal heart condition. Pups usually die before their first birthday.  Lilly is now 7 years old and remains one of the few dogs worldwide to survive this disorder.  Lilly has had two surgeries at Colorado State Vet Teaching Hospital with their tremendous cardiologists and thoracic surgeons.  She returned to CSU in December for a check up, and it is full steam ahead for our miracle girl. The information CSU has gathered on her is extremely important to other pets with this condition.
So look out that window Lilly Rose and Swayze….it is a fine world out there….you are here because people cared….no one gave up on you. No one ever will.  We are on this journey together, side by side.❤️🐾

Puppy Mill No More!

Freya was recently released from one of Iowa’s many notorious puppy mills. Critter Crusaders has been in charge of her medical care and the great advocates of Jasper County Animal Rescue League have this Corgi girl in their system. Foster momma Terrah with JCARL reports that Freya is doing very well and adjusting to a life of freedom. We are treating Freya for a broken maxilla (upper jaw) and she is adapting to her soft muzzle that aligns the bones for proper healing. Once Freya is healed, she will undergo dental surgery to remove multiple broken teeth and their roots. This little survivor deserves all of our love and respect.


Norma is a new case through Cedar Valley Pit Bull Rescue and she is estimated to be 6 years old. Her face is one we can’t erase from our hearts and her plight speaks to us. We feel the need to do whatever we can to make her whole again.  She is a haunting reminder of why we do this work and we sometimes step off a cliff into the unknown as we tackle medical issues.

Norma is at IVRC Specialty Clinic in Des Moines. She is strong heart worm positive.  She also has the largest oral fistula (hole) in her upper palate that IVRC has ever seen.  This is a pathway for aspiration pneumonia and massive infection. Further tests will help determine if it’s from dental disease, a neoplastic disease or injury. As we formulate a treatment plan for her we need to be sure her heart can withstand anesthesia due to the worm infestation. Attempting to close it will take multiple surgeries and the failure rate can be daunting. Our hope is that we can start the surgical process and then begin to treat the heart worms. Her body will dictate how we proceed.

It is important for everyone to understand that dogs and cats have a very profound and intact will to survive.  If we were to ask if they prefer euthanasia, or have the chance to return to a better, healthier life, we know exactly what they would say.  CC has hundreds of happy, healthy alumni!  So onward we go down a long and bumpy road with Norma.  Although her body condition is extremely poor, the staff at IVRC talks about how incredibly sweet and grateful she is.  Her tail wags constantly and she is no doubt more comfortable now than she has been in a very long time.

Summer is a very slack time of year for donations, so two of our board members are donating to her medical bills right now. We always manage our donated funds with the utmost care and respect for our wonderful donors, supporters and well-wishers.  We will be asking for your help as Norma will be a very big case.  For now we ask for your help in sharing her story and look forward to the difference we can make in her life.
Posted 8/15/18


Hippa Hooray for Pippa!

CC has a new kitty in our system! Pippa was surrendered to the Tiffin Pet Health Center with a gnarly avulsion of her leg. The great doctors and staff there called us for help and little Pippa is now under CC’s medical care with SAINTS Rescue!

She had surgery at Frey Pet Hospital to close the gaping wound. She is doing great and should have her sutures out in a couple of weeks.

After that Pippa will hopefully be well enough for adoption! Such a pretty Torti girl!

A Good Day to be Blue

Little Blue is doing great! He’s been in our medical system for a couple of weeks and has had surgery to repair a tib/fib fracture of rear leg! Blue is with our great friends at Dogs Forever and we are grateful for the opportunity to help him!

Thanks always goes out to our donors who allow us to do this important work!

2018 Record Breaking Year

2018 has been a record breaking year for CC and we are busier than ever during this holiday season. On December 8th, we received and emergency call from Jasper County Animal Rescue League. A mill breeder is shutting down and are dispersing several dogs to rescues throughout Iowa. We will be assisting a little female Corgi with significant medical needs. We don’t have her name yet but we will keep you all posted.

Thanks to Aimee Crow from Paws and Claws Rescue for giving CC the heads up on these dogs. Rescue never works better….then when we work together.

A Very Special Gift!

Meet Abby and Ava Mitchell. These beautiful little girls are identical twins and they just turned 7. Mom Angie brought them to meet Swayze and they told us something very heartwarming. Rather than receiving presents for their birthday, they asked for money which they donated to help animals like Swayze through Critter Crusaders. Wow! We are very moved by their act of love and kindness for homeless pets in the community. Mom Angie and dad Jeff are so very proud of their little twins. They should be.

Thank you so much Ava and Abby, from all of your friends at Critter Crusaders and the animals that you have helped with your generosity.
Happy Birthday girls!

OUR MISSION “Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids exists to provide and guide lifesaving advanced medical care for homeless or stray animals. We offer this service to shelters and rescues in the area to reduce euthanasia numbers and restore broken lives.”

Official DDAF Grantee

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Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids is a 501c3 non-profit all volunteer organization made up of a Board of Directors and volunteers that has been in operation since 2008.

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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Critter Crusaders would like to thank our friends at New Pioneer Coop for donating a whopping $2,300 to help pets within our medical system!  These great folks did an October Register Roundup for CC and the results surprised everyone!  One of the highest totals for a charity roundup!  We can’t thank them  and their great customers enough!  CC has multiple big cases and this has made a  tough financial road easier!  THANK YOU on behalf of the homeless pets that we serve.

Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids

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