Header Lake Haven

Christmas Newsletter for 2014

from Lake Haven Rescue

A message from the Director

When Montcalm County informed me of a raid in their County and asked me for assistance I had no idea the result would be an intake of 127 dogs and pups, a huge intake for any shelter. These would not be well cared for dogs, but dogs living in overcrowded conditions with numerous diseases and conditions, and very frightened. Lake Haven volunteers, like never before, stepped up to the plate to help with this huge endeavor, and many new volunteers were acquired. We certainly could not have done it without them. Fortunately we had enacted a computerized program the year before so I could monitor all the medicals on these huge numbers. We certainly could not have accomplished what we did without our wonderful and dedicated Veterinarians. Thank you to Drs. Russell, Breuker and Lynem of Fremont Animal Hospital who came in at midnight several times to do C-sections and handle many other emergencies. Also thanks to Dr Sam Ciatto from Animal Wellness Center of White Cloud who was kind enough to open his clinic on a Saturday, just for us, to spay/neuter 17 animals who were ready for adoption. Thank you also to Dr Jelsema of Jelsema's Vet Clinic in Hudsonville who sorted out many dilemma's for us and spayed and neutered dogs as well. Lisa Portenga wrote grant applications and we received grants from Bissell Pet Foundation, ASPCA and PetSmart Charities to help with the staggering costs. Many volunteers, including myself, became very familiar with the term "foster failure" when we were unable to part with our darling fosters. It was an exciting and very exhausting time none of us will ever forget. It was truly a once in a lifetime thing......I hope.

On the heels of the huge volunteer involvement with the "Pixies" came a new challenge and the volunteers were at the ready. After being at PetSmart in Grandville for 15 years, a new young Manager, with her own agenda, gave us 24 hours to leave. We had had the honor of being number one in adoptions in the state and number three in the nation for many years. Never having any trouble there before I was left speechless but none the less we were out interviewing with other stores the next day. A decision was made to partner with Pet Supplies Plus in Grandville. We have been very pleased with our reception there and found them to be very helpful and appreciative. We are not done with changes yet as we will probably be adding another one of their stores to our list of "places to be". Adoption rates are higher than ever and I think the addition of another store will put us over where we were before. A special thanks to all the volunteers who made this transition a huge success and we have barely missed a beat! We are looking forward to a long and lengthy partnership with Pet Supplies Plus of Grandville.

Lake Haven's Goals are to:

  • Educate pet owners and the public in proper animal care and the urgent need to spay and neuter their pets.

  • Ensure that at time of entry to Lake Haven, animal receives needed medical care.

  • Provide spay/neuter services via area veterinarians partners.

  • Provide temporary shelter for homeless cats and dogs.

  • Place animals in responsible and loving homes.

Lake Haven is run by the kindness, hard work and dedication of its nearly 160 volunteers BUT 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, donors 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.

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Everyone Loves A Puppy, But Senior Dogs Love Everyone

Our senior dog program is a particular favorite of mine. Older dogs are oftentimes overlooked, but they are so easy to be around. Making no demands they are happy just to watch what you are up to. They are housebroken and are certainly grateful for any attention you give them. They are usually calm and low key and when you get home from work don't really mind if you don't feel like running a mile or two. Yes they can have health issues but when Lake Haven takes in a senior dog, they get the works. We do blood profiles, dentals, corrective surgeries and spays/neuters if necessary. By the time we are done you get a healthy pooch. Some of my favorite adoptions done this year were senior dogs. Our senior dog program is funded in part by the Bissell Blocktail Grant received this year. We can't thank them enough for their continuing support. We have been able to rescue some 17 seniors so far this year. The fact is most senior dogs have the ability to elicit compassion, love, and generosity from all of us They make us better people just by being with us and being part of our lives. All of us have benefitted by just association with these kind old souls. Dogs like Shayla, Tessa, Rock have all benefitted form our senior dog program which will be a part of Lake Haven forever..

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What A Senior Rescue Means To Many Of Our Adopters


Happy "Tails" - Many of our Success Stories of 2014

Our Success Story of the Year

"A Winter Petuniar"

The Michigan winter is a desperate time for lost dogs. Food is sparse, water is frozen, it gets dark early, and fewer people are outside to see wayward pets in the terrible cold. It is worse for older dogs that are more susceptible to the cold, injury, and pain. This stark background is where the story of a Winter Petunia; a flower like no other, begins. It is a story that is as sweet as it is painful.

In November of 2013, a Facebook posting on the Lake Haven Animal Rescue site showed a picture of a severely emaciated, female St. Bernard in southwest Michigan with the caption that the family had found it wandering in the snow and cold. The volunteers of LHAR joined conversation to see how to help this majestic canine. My wife, Stacey, who has always loved St. Bernards, was especially affected by the look of this senior dog; having difficulty looking at the picture. Unfortunately, within a day of the posting, all information was lost on the dog. Nobody could find where this St. Bernard was or what condition it was in. About six week later, another post on the LHAR site noted that the same St. Bernard had been seen on Craigslist. Again, the trail turned cold and nothing more was heard. Frustration!

On February 20th, 2014 a posting on the LHAR Facebook page noted an older St. Bernard was up on Craigslist and was being offered for free to the right family. A phone number was listed. At that point, I just couldn’t sit idly by and watch this same dog be passed around again. I immediately called the woman and explained to her that I had large dogs at home and was told I could come get the dog immediately. I used every ounce of guile and charm I possessed to get this woman to give the dog to LHAR. I left work early (got in trouble for that!) and started my 1.5 hour dash through rain and sleet. I was very concerned the dog would be gone by the time I got there. When I picked up this dog, she was in terrible shape and distress. She slowly walked over to me, leaned against my leg and looked up at me with those big lazy St. Bernard eyes. I loaded her into the car and got her home. The ride home was very eventful in which she vomited and had diarrhea multiple times. But, she held her big blocky St. Bernard head tight against my chest the entire way. Oh dear...this is going to be a tough one.

Stacey and Cheryl met at the Fremont Animal Hospital the next day. She tested positive for Giardia and Hook worms, she had a large cancerous lump on her chest, cracked and busted teeth, was severely emaciated at 75 pounds, had severely infected ears, was still vomiting and had diarrhea; she was in dire shape. LHAR and Dr. Marie Breuker did a wonderful job stabilizing her. She was operated on to remove the cancer, had the cracked/broken teeth removed, and was given medications and antibiotics for her multiple conditions. Then we brought her home and started immediately on a diet full of fresh meat, eggs, low carb veggies, and supplements. What was wonderful were the donations that LHAR and the volunteers gave and offered; money, food, supplements, special beds, advice…the list goes on and on. Slowly she started to heal. Lisa Gould Portenga asked what her name was going to be; our family decided upon “Petunia”. For the longest time she was smelly, her breath was terrible, and her diarrhea lasted almost five weeks. We were determined to have her blossom into a beautiful flower; therefore, Petunia was to be her name. At this point we were just a foster family for Petunia. It became obvious that we were having difficulty discussing Petunia being put up for adoption. She was almost 9 years old. Petunia deserved some consistency in her later years. On the other hand, we had 3 very large dogs at home, already. We decided to wait and allow the best answer to reveal itself.

Finally, in mid-Spring of 2014, we walked into a Saturday adoption event with $250 in-hand and informed Cheryl that a Foster Failure was going to occur with Petunia. All the ladies at the table burst out laughing saying they knew that was going to happen! Our family had decided that Petunia deserved to have the love and consistency of one family for the rest of her life; and that our family which included three large/giant canine brothers was the best option for her.

We have had Petunia in our house for 10 months now and we continue to deal with underlying medical issues as they arise. Her pancreas was damaged through the years of abuse and parasitic attacks and she is now on digestive enzyme supplements and pre/probiotics so that she can digest her food correctly. She also gets homemade, 12 hour simmered, bone broth in her food to sooth her GI tract. Her hips are weak, so she gets two half-mile walks a day and we are keeping her weight down at 125#. A mix of low residue high quality kibble and fresh cooked chicken along with supplements is her permanent diet. Her blood panels at the vet are now perfect…with all values exactly where they need to be. Our vet is amazed at how good she is doing.

This sweet natured and grand dame is our ‘Winter Petunia’…..out of the harsh cold and darkness of a cold February night blossomed a beautiful soul whose senior years are going to be spent wrestling with her fur brothers, laying in human laps, and enjoying the warmth and comfort of a family that loves her. Thank you to Lake Haven Animal Rescue and Fremont Animal Hospital; without whom, Petunia could not have survived. Thank you to all of the volunteers who offered help and advice. Finally, thank you to our ‘Winter Petunia’ who has taught us the forgiveness and gratitude that resides within the heart of a dog.

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For As Long As It Will Be!

On one of my trips to the Newaygo Shelter , I saw a black mom cat with 5 babies (4 black ones). Knowing what happens to black cats in shelters I took this little family out. I tested her for FIV/FELV, and she was negative. Her babies were tiny so I looked for a foster and found one in Fremont near the vet clinic which would be needed. Turned out mom had coccidia, toxoplasmosis, and giardia. So the medications began. The kitties were medicated both in the foster and when returned to the shelter. We finally got things turned around and got negative samples. Then I found out that one of the kittens, Gracie had a hole in her heart and would not live long. Faced with the decision to euthanize now or wait, I decided I would risk her life to get her spayed and if she made it, I would try and adopt her to someone who would be willing to love her however short her life may be. At our adoption events at Pet Supplies Plus and a wonderful retired couple came in and fell in love with Pippie, Gracie's sibling, and proceeded to adopt her. While at the adoption table I told them the story of the sister named Gracie and how I hoped to find a family who would let her live out her life with a sibling. Without hesitation the wife looked to her husband and said" I think it is the right thing to do, don't you" ? The Carver family restored my faith in humanity that day, and gave little Gracie a happy ending to this new phase in her life for however long that might be.

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Out Two Little "Time Wasters"

After 13 years, we had to put our Bichon, Dilly, down in March. We were all heartbroken about it. The next day, my parents saw on the news that over 100 animals were being taken in by Lake Haven Rescue, the pixies, and they immediately thought of adopting one even though it was very soon after the passing of our Bichon. Although my mom had said that we wouldn't get another dog for a while, my brother and I finally convinced her to go look at the dogs on a Saturday about three weeks later.
My brother immediately gravitated toward Eve, who is now Lilly, and my mom immediately picked up Haven, who is now Petunia, with no intention by my mom of bringing home two dogs. They adopted Lilly, and Petunia was too young to go home that day, but they decided to adopt her as well.
I was at the University of Michigan, and my family video called me while I was in the library to show me Lilly. I was so excited that I drove home to Whitehall from Ann Arbor that day to spend the weekend with her. A few days later, they were able to bring Petunia home. They fought and wrestled the first day, and soon enough they were sleeping together in the bed that Dilly used to occupy. They are so small that they can both fit in it.
I came home from school for the summer a few weeks later, and our house was definitely not empty. It was an overwhelmingly great feeling to give two dogs a home where they have many people coming in and out to see them, and when they are alone they have each other. They spend their days playing and wrestling and then napping with us on the couch. My cat, who is 19 years old, is indifferent to the puppies, but they love her and attempt to play with her. They are so loving and we refer to them as our little "time wasters" because of all the time we spend petting them and playing with them when we are busy because we just can't help it. Thank you for allowing our family to be complete.

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Our Heartfelt Thanks

We adopted "Bella" at a Lake Haven "Adoption Day" event and now we call her "Abby" and her full name is Abby Belle Waite. She had a number of siblings (all with "B" names, including Bruce and Basil and others, all black & white puppies spaniel mix?). We are so very thankful to have Abby as part of our family and will be life long supporters of Lake Haven Rescue. Abby gets along with our indoor cats (well, most of them anyway). We would love to hear from other adopters of Abby's brothers and sisters! Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who helps Lake Have Rescue do the wonderful work they do!
     Bill & Carol Waite

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A Loyal Companion

I remember long ago my parents surprised me with a trip to Lake Haven Rescue to pick out a cat. Thinking I wanted a white cat, I ran over to the first one I saw. However, soon enough a frisky mackerel tabby kitten with the cutest round face caught my attention. Soon enough she was making herself comfy in the backseat of our car on her way to her new home. We decided to name her PINTA - pain in the A$# - as she was so rambunctious always making trouble around the house. Taking her to the vet for the first time, I found that my new little friend and I shared a birthday! It was a sign it was meant to be! Through her first thunderstorm at her new home, she soon found refuge under the bed covers and it has been her favorite place to sleep to this day. 18 years later, my little friend PINTA is still by my side. She moves a little slower now, but she still has sweetest heart and I couldn't have asked for a more loyal companion over the years. Thank you for all that you do! Without you I wouldn't have ever found my little friend!

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A Happy Family

We adopted Brownie in January. Her name was Opal then!! She is such a sweet little puppy!! We absolutely love her!! Brownie is doing great! She has gone to two different puppy classes and has done great. She loves to play and loves going to the dog park!! Brownie does great around other dogs and is great with kids!!

Loved Immensely

Piper (AKA Victoria) is doing great, and has come out of her shell. We love her immensely and she definitely loves in return. Thank you LH and Cheryl for everything that you do for these animals! It is greatly appreciated!

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I'm A Foster Failure

My I recently started fostering for Lake Haven Rescue; it had been many years since I had done some fostering, so I decided to do it again.
Then, I met Pixie. The absolute first moment I saw Pixie, I loved her. Then, she stuck her little pink tongue out of her mouth and I was completely smitten. The whole family fell in love with her right away. Even my husband!! We already had two dogs of our own and we were not looking to add another. The point of fostering is not to keep them, right? Well, there was no way I wanted that little dog to leave my house! The first time we tried to kennel her, she literally screamed and cried. I couldn't take it, so I slept on the couch with her the first night and vowed she never would be locked in a cage again. She sleeps in bed with my husband and me. His doing! I know my husband could see the love we all had for her, so he called Cheryl and told him he wanted to adopt her for my Mother's Day present. I was already reluctantly scheduled to take her for an adoption event and even had a lady coming over to meet her. Cheryl and my husband had to figure out a way for me not to get her adopted to someone else! What a wonderful Mother's Day present! We also decided to keep her given name "Pixie" to honor all of the "Pixie Pups" that Lake Haven rescued. So, I am happily, what they consider a "foster failure."

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 She Makes Me So Happy

Exactly a year ago today, I convinced my parents to foster this little gem for one night. (My parents don't like me fostering during the school year.) Cheryl already had a foster set up for her but let me take her anyway. I knew from the minute Cheryl got her out of the van that somehow she was going to be my dog. It took a month of hiding her away in my house, never bringing her to adoption events, a month of crying and hounding my parents to keep her and she eventually became our dog. Peppy is a joy to have and whenever I am back home she makes me so happy. She is very comical and just enjoys her life. Even my dad adores her and he never liked dogs before Peppy. I am so lucky to have 2 amazing animals from Lake Haven and that I can be apart of such an amazing organization!

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We adopted Missy Mae in June and took her to my Dad's house to visit. He had been suffering with depression for several years (since my mom had passed) and we quickly realized that Missy Mae needed to stay with my dad. We had been told at adoption that she was very shy and would hiss until she warmed up to you. This picture was taken about 5 minutes after she met my dad. They were both pretty smitten....

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Just Can't Imagine

Baler and Beast update - after some health scares and struggles, my Lake Haven loves are healthy, happy, and best friends. I couldn't be happier! I also can't believe I ever thought one kitten would be enough... these two have so much fun together, I can't imagine one without the other!

Thanks For Picking Me

Murphy (Picasso) had a long day of coming home and meeting both sides of his family yesterday (except the kids who were gone, he is meeting them in about 15 minutes!). Everyone loved him. I got him home, managed to snap a picture of him and then he fell asleep and I put him in his crate where he slept all night without making even one sound. This morning we went on our first leashed walk around the neighborhood and he did really well. He walked past a lawn mower and a leaf blower and was a brave boy! Thanks for picking me to be the new momma to this sweet boy. 

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Everyone Gets Along

Me adopted Sarge (shelter name Casper) just this past Saturday. By the second night he knew how to sit and go outside by himself to potty. I can already tell that he is a very smart puppy and will be a great dog.
He gets along great with his new sisters, Belle (7 yr Huskey) and Rogue (2 yr German Shepard/Rottweiler). Rogue is especially in love with Sarge and treats him like her own pup--they are adorable playing together!
Thank you Lake Haven Rescue, for the wonderful addition to our family.

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He Is a Force of Nature

Exactly two years ago today, my daughter and I went to the store to by fish food. I looked left when walking into the store to see what dogs Lake Haven had up for adoption. Way in the back was this amazingly large and magnificent animal. He had to be mine....and mine immediately. Cheryl told me he wasn't up for adoption quite yet....I said I wasn't leaving without him. She went back and spoke with Dave. They agreed to let me adopt him that day. He and I are perfect for each other. He has his issues....but, so do I. We are a work in progress. But, he is a force of nature at 194#. He is a Lake Haven special. Thank you Cheryl for recognizing that he and I were perfect for each other.

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Made My Heart Melt

I adopted Gunnar almost a year ago from Lake Haven, and took in Rylee last week, a 4 week old stray kitten. Just wanted to share how loving my Gunnar is, must be he remembers having a loving foster home when he was small like he. Made my heart melt!!

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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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Special Thanks To...

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.

Great Lakes Hospital for Animals
  (616) 878-7387

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
West Michigan spay/neuter Clinic
  (231) 366-7067

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
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
Rockford Animal Hospital
  (616) 866-9589
Sand Lake
Sand Lake Veterinary Services LLC
  (616) 636-4100
Companion Animal Veterinary Service
  (231) 861-4353
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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Animal Humor


Making a Donation

DID YOU KNOW: All of our support at Lake Haven comes from donors and volunteers. This includes the director of Lake Haven who receives no income for animal rescue. Because Lake Haven is an all volunteer organization, operating from a donated shelter building and foster homes, 100% of all donations received benefit the animals themselves.

HOW IS THE DONATION MONEY USED: All donations collected, which are tax deductable, go into the general animal rescue fund. This fund is the mainstay of our organization. It is how we pay for all medical expenses of animals that come into our program. It also pays for their food and comforts, heat and air conditioning. We also have a low-cost spay/neuter program for the public, but that is a separate fund not paid for by donations.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION: You can go to our online webpage and make an electronic donation using a credit card or PayPal. If you want to use a personal check simple print the form below and send it to Lake Haven in Newaygo (see address below).  


I would like to contribute:  $____________

My Name: __________________________________

Address: ___________________________________

City: ___________  State: _______  Zip: __________

Telephone: ________________________

Email: ____________________________

My donation is in Memory/Honor of: _____________________________________________

Donation Purpose (see suggestions above): _______________________________________

Send Acknowledge Card to:

Address: ___________________________________

City: _________________________  State: _______  Zip: __________

Send your personal check made out to "Lake Haven" at:
  Lake Haven    551 Pickerel Lake Dr.    Newaygo, MI  49337


  Lake Haven Rescue
551 Pickerel Lake Dr, Newaygo, MI  49337
Phone: 231 652-7505