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December 2011

In The News

A message from the Director

As the director of Lake Haven I have had more opportunity than most to see first hand the suffering of abandoned animals. I’ve given this a great deal of thought over the years and although I find abandonment a very sad and troublesome situation I know that it can be avoided in most cases.

Most of the dogs I see at County high kill shelters are going to fall into one or both of the following two categories;

1. Those over one year old and still fertile

2. Those that are untrained and not socialized

Most of the one-plus year old fertile dogs are in shelters because they have become very bothersome at home. The males are running and refuse to stay home. Owners tire of chasing them and trying to find ways to confine them. Some males will become aggressive and will bite if around a female in heat. Some previously housebroken dogs will begin to “mark” and will even do this in their homes. The females will also run and refuse to be confined and can be very messy in the house while in heat. Some will also begin soiling in the house during this time. Then there is the expense and work involved with puppies and some people are just not prepared. Of course all this can be avoided by surgically altering your pet. So the Low/Cost Spay/Neuter Program was started by us 3 years ago and its working.

Dogs that are untrained and not socialized can end up in shelters for many of the same reasons mentioned above. What I mean by untrained and not socialized is; unable to walk properly on a leash or be tethered in any way. Not housebroken, unable to meet another dog/cat without a volatile reaction, and unacceptable behavior around people like jumping-up, barking and constant licking.  All of these things are easily fixable. To help people with proven techniques we have created a “Self-Help” section on our website. You will have to do the work but we have some advice and direction for you. On our home page you will find a section titled Self Help for Your Adopted Dog. I especially like the section titled "Nothing in Life is Free" and find that it is very effective with the bonding process as well. Another favorite is “The Walk” where I learned how important a proper walk can be.

My hope is that the things we offer to people will help to reduce the number of abandoned animals. And always remember; "Your dog will respond quickly and become a happy contented pet if you reward him for doing what you want instead of punishing him for doing what you don't want."Signature


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The Year Of The Volunteer

This year is the “Year of the Volunteer for Lake Haven”. Because we are an all volunteer organization, volunteers have always been very important, but this year we want to let everyone know that they are absolutely essential to our cause.

This year we have been called to staff the cat adoption center at PetSmart, due to their budget cuts. Unless we have volunteers in the adoption center to do the adoptions, they will not take place. It is Important to remember , every time we adopt one cat it is like we are saving two because the cat in the adoption center finds a home and now we have space to go get another cat out of a dangerous situation or high kill shelter.

With an easy sign up application process online and access to an online calendar to plug in their own schedules for helping with cat adoptions, we have made it easy to make a huge difference in the life of a homeless kitty. So if you love cats/kittens but have “no room at the inn” come express your love of animals with us and do some good work at the same time.

We wish to thank our wonderful volunteers for making such a huge difference in the lives of the homeless animals and there are no words that can express how much we appreciate all of them. Remember “Volunteers are unpaid not because they are worthless but because they are priceless.”

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Our Success Story Of The Year (Because you helped)

The story of the “Court Case Dogs”

In August of 2009 a cruelty investigation took place in Montcalm County concerning 5 Redbone and Blue Tick coonhounds. They were just pups 3 or 4 months old. The pups were confiscated as the investigation began. Months dragged by and the pups grew up in their small cages. They were not allowed out as they were considered “property” and the shelter was required to preserve the evidence. Then it became years in their small cages they yearned for human contact and a normal “dog life”. In June of 2011 they order finally came from the prosecutor to release the dogs. After spending nearly two years in the noisy and dirty din of the County Shelter, Lake Haven received notification that they were to be released to rescues. We were asked to take one. It was explained to Lake Haven that two of the dogs had severe cherry eyes and we knew that would require surgical repair by a well qualified surgeon. When we arrived at the Shelter we found the dogs to be so pleasant we decided to take three instead of one, of course we took the one with the worst condition thinking she may not find her way out. Her eyes were very swollen and inflamed and tearing constantly. When we returned home and found out how wonderful they are we have contacted the shelter to insure the others find their way to Lake Haven as well. Rescues such as these tax small rescues time and resources.

These are exceptionally sweet and loving dogs who never deserved to be treated this way or to be put down after spend almost 2 years in a cage. We can not and will not let that happen.

What Happened to the Court Case Dogs?

Lake Haven Rescue put out a plea and our supporters donated the $800 we needed to cover the costs of rescue. A special donation tool that we placed on our home page really helped the cause and we are eternally grateful to all who contributed. We know it's hard to make contributions in these difficult times but you can be assured that these wonderful dogs benefited greatly.

We named the Blue Tick Stella. The girl with cherry eyes is called Ruby and the other sweetheart was called Ester. Ester was adopted 1st then Ruby (her eyes have been fixed) and finally Ester. They are truly loved by their new owners and these three lovelies truly deserved the wonderful homes they now enjoy.

PS  This rescue instilled a deep respect and love for coonhounds to many volunteers at Lake Haven. What a wonderful, loving, gentle breed.


Ruby came home this past July, and since that time I have had the privilege of watching a dog with a less than desirable past finally have the opportunity to transform into the perfect companion. After the third week home, I began to see her true personality come out. She was always sweet, but her gentle nature, trustworthiness, and loyalty came through. As I write this, she is currently basking in the sunshine on the back porch. She has been such a joy to have around. I am so lucky to have found her!


I was a bit hesitant of getting another dog after the loss of our Crafty, we ran across the Court Case dogs and decided to come and meet Ester. One look at her face and it we knew we were not leaving without her. She is such a sweet lovable dog, and it has been so much fun watching her grow and learn. We can’t wait to see how she reacts in the snow. The longer we have here the more we see her personality come out in her and realize she is a very goofy dog. Thank you so much!


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She eased the hurt

I just wanted to thank you for all you do for the animals who are blessed enough to find homes through Lake haven Rescue. I recently adopted Vixen, the most perfect kitten ever, through Lake Haven. My cat companion, and friend of 17 years passed away recently, leaving a big hole in the lives of my dog and I. We still miss her terribly, but Vixen has come into our little home and helped to ease the hurt. She is such a sweet girl and immediately fit perfectly into our home. She is making fast friends with her new doggy brother. Thank you again!

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We are thrilled

I just wanted to say thank you so much for allowing us the ability to meet Iris and her puppies four weeks ago. We have been nothing but thrilled with Dudley since we met him and especially now that he is home with us. He is doing so well and he has really been a great puppy. He is going potty outside most of the time and he is so loving with all of us. The kids, my husband and I are totally enjoying him, as well as, everyone else that meets him too. I know you are keeping busy with all of the rescues, but wanted to tell you that you are wonderful at what you do and we couldn't be happier with our new "baby".

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A great addition to our family

After adopting Mio, my parents decided to get a kitten. We returned to Petsmart and found Puffy (formerly known as Laverne). She was only 8 weeks old then and the only one left of her litter. Puffy is a very independent kitty who is incredibly smart. She only likes crunchy treats and will never touch the soft ones! She has a very unique voice and is super loving. She doesn't like to be picked up very much but she loves being petted. Surprisingly, she tolerates nail clippings amazingly well for a cat! :) Puffy is the healthiest kitty and has never been sick. She was a great addition to our family!

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Everyone who meets her loves her

We are the Downs family and adopted a lab shepherd puppy from your rescue. Just wanted to give you an update as she is now turning one year old. Skylar, the foster family had named her "Sky" from the bit of white on her nose, is dong just great with our family. She loves going on runs and is absolutely pooped when we get home. She loves playing with other dogs and going to our cottage and playing in the lake. She acts inconvenienced when made to move off or over a bit on the couch when one of us wants to sit down. :-) She knows how to sit, stay, give high five, and play dead. She's been through two obedience courses and is a very smart girl. She loves her bones too. She's naughty and likes to dig up the backyard though she's now doing a bit less of that. She could eat everything and anything all day if we let her. Her favorite treat is peanut butter and I put that in one of her bones sometimes. She's great with the kids and strangers as she has such a friendly disposition. Everyone that meets her loves her. She weighs 55 pounds and I think she's about done growing. My family thanks you at Lake Haven Rescue for our beloved family member. Keep up the good work. Hope all is well.

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Thanks for taking care of him

This is a picture of Hermes (was Rabbit), the second cat we've adopted from you in two years. He has a very squeaky meow when he comes to you and does a head dance. He play fights with our other cats. He falls behind and under the couch a lot cause he tries to catch birds. Thanks for taking care of him for a while. Now he's got a friendly, cozy place to get pampered.

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We feel so blessed to have her

First I have to say I have loved all the dogs I have ever had in my life as they are all special in their own way, but Indy definitely tops my list. She is so beautiful both inside and out. She sure loves to be outside keeping an eye out for bunnies and squirrels and her tail never stops wagging! She puts a smile on my face every single day. My daughter thanks me at least once a week for bringing her into our home. She wants to be out back running around with our other beagle ‘Dasher’ and checking out all the wildlife. But she is always ready to come in and cuddle up on the couch with us in the evening. It is hard for me to imagine her previous owners did not want her. They sure did not realize what a gem of a dog Indy is, and they are really missing out! We feel so blessed to have her in our lives and are so thankful to you and Lake Haven for rescuing her and placing her into our home. We love her so much and cannot imagine our home without her! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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The lively bunch

The gray one is Muffin and the one on the pillow is Nimo. We are having to work a bit more with Nimo he's a little unsure of being handled but coming around nicely. They are the sweetest kitten and the mama is really sweet and very smart.

Just thought you might like to see a couple of the kittens and how they are doing. Flo and Dori won't stand still long enough to take pictures ! They are a lively bunch


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Happy Howl-days

I adopted Chester the beagle from you guys a few months ago and he is doing wonderful in his new home. He has found his way into our hearts, our family’s and nearly everyone in my neighborhood. I regularly keep in contact with his foster mom, Diana, and send her stories of how he’s doing.

I refer everyone I know who is looking for a pet to your shelter, and a good friend from work may be adopting from you soon. Thank you for all of your hard work to help animals!   Happy Howl-days!

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The perfect addition to our family, we love this dog.

Our family had been looking for the perfect family dog for a little over 2 months, visiting various shelters to try to find "the" dog for our family. I filled out an application online, and told Cheryl just what we were looking for (a dog less than 2 years old that would be great with kids). She sent me pictures of Skye, a husky/ lab mix puppy that was 5 months old. We met her on adoption day at Petsmart, and immediately fell in love with her. I was expecting her to be hyper and a little ball of energy because she was only 5 months old, but she is the BEST dog I have ever owned or even been around. She goes to the door already to go potty outside, she listens amazingly well, and after working with her for a little over 10 minutes she learned to "sit". We renamed her "Nala" because she is the same golden color as a lion, and spoil her already. She thinks she is a giant lap dog and loves to put her head on your lap and be petted. She loves to be praised and played with, and is so sweet around my 2 little kids. We all LOVE this dog, she is the perfect addition to our family!

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Feels good to have a dog again

Here is a picture of Harley (used to be Carolyn). She is a very wonderful dog and we love her very, very much. She loves her new home and loves to play with her toys and go for her daily walks. She was very good on the long ride home to PA. She was worth the long ride to get her. She had her first check up and all went well. She's keeping us on our toes and it really feels good to have a dog in the house again. Thanks again for everything and all that you do to help animals find good homes.

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I Couldn't Have Asked For More

Prudence is one of my favorite four legged daughters! I adopted her from Lake Haven. I have a large dog and wanted a loveable, cuddly kitty to add to our family. I seen Prue at a pet store and fell in love with her. I went home and picked up ScoobyDoo (my large dog) so I could see if she didn't mind dogs. Scooby put his head in her cage, gave her a large kiss and she just looked at him and went back to sleep. That was all I needed to know. I brought her home that day!

Since then Prudence has been such a joy to have. She looks up at me when she wants anything, and if I do not pay attention, she genitally pets my arm. (she still has her claws). She enjoys her treats every morning, she has been my alarm clock. She wakes me up every morning at 6:30am for this treat. Prudence is just an Awesome kitty!! She loves her belly rubbed and chasing her feather toy. I couldn't have asked for a better family member!  Thank you Lake Haven!!

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We are lucky!

We've had Breeze (Formerly Stella) 4 months. She is shy by nature and her first few weeks she was startled by the smallest of things - such as leaves blowing across the lawn. She now has adapted to her new surroundings, the sites, noises and smells. We have certainly noticed that sniffing is her favorite thing to do (being a Coon Hound).

A funny thing she does is rescue her dog toys from the vacuum by putting them in her bed. Guess she figures that noisy thing is going to suck her toys away.  We have several grand children 2 to 3 years old. Breeze initially was quite nervous of them but now enjoys chasing and being chased by the children.

We are lucky to have such a pretty and docile pet. Thank you so much!

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He Loves Us & We Love Him

Here are some pictures of Rambo (King) he is a part of the family now. He adjusted fast and well. He is loose with no leash, he sticks with us and wants to be where we are at only. Even when he sees a deer he chases and comes back in a few minutes. He listens well and is a great dog. He gets along well with other dogs and cats. He loves us and we love him. He eats well and like treats.
Thanks for all.

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A Joy To Have Around

I would just like to say thank you for our great little pup.  His name is Turtle and he is a wonderful dog.  He is very well behaved and mild mannered.  He loves going for walks in the woods and loves to find a good stick to chew on.  He is a little too spoiled, but he loves to sleep on the bed, and we love it too.  Turtle is a very smart dog, he loves to play with other dogs, and he even likes cats.  He loves to wake up in the morning and go for a walk, if he doesn't get his two walks each day he'll let us know that he wants to go.  He has grown up to be a great looking dog, we just love his speckled chest and paws.  He is about 11 months now, and he's such a great dog and a joy to have.  Thanks for our great puppy!!

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The Happy Boy And The Lucky Family

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to tell us her story and answer all the questions we had about handling her and adapting her to my old cat, Gus.  We tried the treat by the door trick and it worked!  Pixie pushed the door open, and while there were some tense times including some hissing and growling.   After a little chasing, the two went into the bedroom.  It was really quiet for a moment and she came bolting out.  After that it seemed like they'd established dominance, and have gotten along great since.  I was really concerned about a month long process, but I credit her quiet and loving demeanor to much of it.  While we expect there to be some tough times, we wanted you to know she's doing well.  Thank you for all you do!  I'm so glad we picked Lake Haven!! We look forward to sharing many pictures and stories about our kitten family with you.

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It Seems Like Destiny

I want you to know that Kaiah (formerly Ramie), an American Eskimo dog, is the best thing that happened to me!  She loves her new home and has settled in quite nicely.  Attached is a picture of her and also one with my older Eskie, Keeper.  Kaiah is an affectionate goof.  Her clumsy nature makes my husband and I smile.  She sometimes misjudges her jump onto the sofa - her favorite spot.  She has graduated from basic obedience and reliably sits and lies down on command and walks on a loose leash.  We take daily walks and occasionally visit the nearby off-leash dog park, where she can run and explore to her heart's content.  She's a smart girl who is so grateful to be in a safe, loving home.  Thank you for finding her for me;  It seems like destiny!

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King Of The Roost!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing Boone into our lives! He is so much fun & such a smart, sweet boy :). He is settling in to his home nicely  and has quickly become the king of the roost. We have large picture windows at the back of the house in the living & dining room where he loves to watch the squirrels and birds. His favorite stuffed toy is shaped like a jack & has a squeaker in it he hasn’t managed to pull out yet – he grabs it & squeaks it & prances around when he is ready to play fetch. The lad has been growing & is so curious about everything. In short, we are nuts about him (& visa versa). You did such a good job capturing his personality in the pictures you posted on your website.   Thanks again, & we’ll keep in touch.

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Seasonal Helpful Hints

With the holiday seasons upon us it’s important to keep your four legged loved ones safe! Here are a few tips to keep you and yours happy and safe this holiday season!

  • Be mindful of cold weather products such as de-icing products, salt, and anti-freeze! When walking your pet outside during the snow and ice be sure to wipe their paws and undersides thoroughly when returning inside. This will ensure your pet is safe from any skin irritations or more serious conditions.

  • Keep all holiday decorations out of reach such as tinsel and ribbon. Ingestion of these materials could cause serious health complications for your pet.

  • There are lots of beautiful holiday plants out there but many of them are dangerous to your pets if ingested. Keep lilies, mistletoe, ivy, holly, and poinsettias out of reach!

  • We all love our fur friends very much and want them to enjoy some of the same yummy treats we do but keep in mind that turkey bones can be very dangerous to our pets and could cause obstructions. Holiday sweets such as chocolate are dangerous too! Keep the yummies out of reach of your furry friends.

  • With the holidays come lots of visitors and/or out of town trips. It’s important to ensure your pet is properly tagged and micro-chipped in the event they become spooked during this holiday season.

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Lake Haven would like to thank the many veterinary clinics that participate in our spay/neuter program. We all know how important it is to spay/neuter in order to prevent pet overpopulation and to keep our pets healthy. Visit our website for a detailed listing of these veterinary clinics.

Byron Center
Byron Center Animal Hospital
(616) 878-7387
Southkent Veterinary Hospital
(616) 878-3386
Southkent Veterinary Hospital
(616) 891-9070
South Crossing Vet Center
(616) 554-0400
Family Friends Vet Hospital
(616) 575-6520
Cascade Animal Hospital
(616) 949-0960
Dorr Veterinary Clinic
(269) 793-7387
Fremont Animal Hospital
(231) 924-4940
Grand Haven
Grand Haven Animal Hospital
(616) 846-6700
Prelesnik Animal Hospital
(616) 846-4673
Grand Rapids
Plymouth Road Animal Clinic
(616) 456-9212
Red Barn Veterinary Clinic
(616) 455-4850
Safe Harbor Animal Hospital
(616) 942-8148
Schmitt's Animal Hospital
(616) 791-2011
Westwood Hills Animal Hospital
(616) 453-8259
Town & Country Animal Hospital
(616) 754-4992
Ottawa Animal Hospital
(616) 399-2540
East Holland Veterinary Clinic
(616) 392-1835
Howard City
Howard City Animal Hospital*
(231) 937-4396
Georgetown Animal Hospital
(616) 669-3612
Jelsema Veterinary Clinic
(616) 662-6230
Chicago Drive Veterinary Clinic
(616) 669-0501
Jenison Animal Hospital
(616) 457-9200
(616) 455-8220
Animal Hospital of Lowell
(616) 897-8484
Thornapple Vet Medical Center
(269) 795-9817
Rockford Animal Hospital
(616) 866-9589 Shelby
Companion Animal Vet Service
(616) 231-861-4353
Sand Lake
Sand Lake Veterinary Services LLC
(616) 636-4100
Kelley’s Animal Clinic
(616) 453-7422
White Cloud
Animal Wellness Center of White Cloud
(231) 689-0630
Animal Medical Center of Wyoming
(616) 531-7387
Wyoming Animal Hospital
(616) 538-9700
Zeeland Veterinary Hospital
(616) 772-4930

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There are so many to thank, words can't explain our gratitude.

Every job here at Lake Haven is of equal importance. The fosters, volunteers, shelter staff, transports, and laundry and cleaning , bookkeeping, computer entry, website maintenance, newsletters and so much more are essential to Lake Haven's success. We thank each and every one of you for your part in helping homeless animals find their forever homes. We are like a football team, with each person important and dependant upon the other , and all working together towards the touchdown, the ADOPTION !!!

A special thank you goes out to the PetSmart in Grandville MI for allowing Lake Haven to showcase our animals in their adoption center. Lake Haven has been rated number two in the nation and number one in the state for animal placement via their Love-A-Pet program. Thank you PetSmart.

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Lake Haven's Wish List

This wish list of items would help us provide the best possible animal care while enabling us to do our jobs better and save money so that we can dedicate our resources directly to the pets who are relying on us:

    - Purina Dog Chow 
  - Purina Puppy Chow
  - Purina One Cat Food
  - Paper Towels
  - Gently Used Blankets
  - Gently Used Bath Towels
  - Cotton Balls
  - Wire Dog Kennels
  - Wire Exercise Pens
  - Dog & Cat toys
- 33 Gallon Garbage Bags
- Tall Kitchen Bags
- Hand Sanitizer (waterless)
- Bleach
- Liquid Laundry Soap
- Q-Tips
- Dish Detergent
- Wire dog crates (all sizes)
- Pet Carriers (all sizes)

Even the smallest items are greatly appreciated! They may be dropped off at: PetSmart, 4645 Canal Avenue SW, Grandville or at the shelter in Newaygo (231-652-7507).


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© 2009 by Lake Haven.
Lake Haven is a non-profit no-kill animal rescue shelter dedicated to the care and adoption of homeless and/or injured dogs, cats, kittens and puppies in the West Michigan area.  Lake Haven is a recognized 510(c)3 organization that is 100% volunteer operated.