Holiday Newsletter for 2012

Header Lake Haven

A message from the Director

Lake Haven has come a long ways since its humble beginnings in a garage on Pickeral Lake. We have continued to expand our operation into two locations and some 40 foster homes. Our newest location in Grant, Mi has remodeled a garage to provide 4 secure indoor/outdoor kennels and a large fenced in exercise/training area. Lake Haven's own dog handler lives there and rehabs difficult dogs. The Pickeral Lake location added two new kennels this year to house puppy litters that come up from Georgia. We were able to rescue over 150 puppies from Georgia this spring/summer.

This year we experimented with "trap, neuter and return" with feral cats as well. Three cats were live trapped, spayed and vaccinated and then returned to the lake area where a feeding station has been maintained for them. We are now planning for a warm and secure place for them to shelter and sleep. I am sure more will follow.

Our spay/neuter program continues to reduce the number of unwanted animals by offering a low-cost sterilization for pets of those who cannot afford to the full price. The number of puppies taken to the Newaygo County shelter has been reduced dramatically. In February of 2012 the County Shelter took in a litter of puppies . They did not see another litter until November of 2012 ! Although the reduction in numbers was not as dramatic as with the dogs, kitten litters were less also. What a wonderful thing !! A special thanks to Newaygo County officials for their participation in this program.

This is the first year that Lake Haven has been responsible for keeping the adoption center staffed at Grandville PetSmart. Our new online calendar helps to keep it staffed almost every day by Lake Haven volunteers, who are there to clean cages and do adoptions. Because of this cats and kittens have been able to find their way from County shelters and certain death to a home of their own. I am so grateful for the dedication and commitment of our wonderful volunteers. They are true super hero's! Anyone wishing to help with adoptions can go to our website and fill out a volunteer application. Please consider spending a little spare time with us! I was told by PetSmart management that their store was #1 in the state and #3 in the country for adoptions and it's because of our volunteers that this happened.

I will take a moment and wish all of our volunteers , and adoptive pet parents a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous New Year ahead. And thank you so much for choosing to adopt or make a donation.

Lake Haven's Goal is 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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Happy "Tails"

Our Success Story of The Year

, Lake Haven saved him because no one else would.

Harvey, a Shar Pei and Beagle mix, was scheduled to be put down on the day Lake Haven showed up at the County Shelter. He could barely see because both of his eyes had what is called "Cherry Eye."  It was obvious to Dave (Lake Haven's dog handler) that the odds of someone adopting this dog were slim-to-none. After an assessment of his temperament, which was excellent, Cheryl (Director of Lake Haven) readily agreed to rescue Harvey and get him to the vet to determine what could be done for his eyes.

Little did we know that we were starting on a journey that would last just over a year, be one of our costliest rescues, and provide more joy and happiness then we could have hoped for.

After the Lake Haven vet assessed Harvey's eyes and performed his neuter it was agreed that an initial operation would be performed on his eyes. After the surgery poor Harvey was almost blind due to the initial swelling. He didn't much care for the "cone" he had to wear but be quickly adjusted and after a few weeks it was removed and you could see that his eyes were getting better but they were not good enough so the Director had the Lake Haven dog handler take Harvey to an eye specialist in Lansing Michigan.

By now many weeks had passed where Harvey had taken up residence in Dave's home. During this time it became obvious to Cheryl and Dave that Harvey was a VERY special boy. He was so calm, friendly, and gentle to everyone and everything (i.e. adults, children, babies, cats, whatever). He became a "therapy dog" of sorts for Dave and helped the behavior work with other dogs. No matter what another dog would do Harvey would put up with it. Smaller dogs would seek him out and there were always other dogs sleeping by or on him.

After Harvey's 1st trip it the eye specialist in Lansing it was determined that he would need an additional surgery for the Cherry Eyes. In addition one eye had a condition called Ectropion (a slight droopy appearance of the eyelid) and the other eye had Entropion (an inward rolling of the eyelid edges).  An appointment was scheduled for the 1st of two more surgeries that Harvey would need.

A number of weeks after that 1st surgery in Lansing and he as able to take off the "cone" Harvey was noticeably better but one more surgery was in his future. It should be noted that during all of these doctor visits and surgeries Cheryl never once hesitated to do what was best for Harvey.

FINALLY, after one more surgery to correct Ectropion, Entropion AND a cosmetic adjustment of one eyebrow Harvey was finished with wearing those "cones" and ready for adoption. It would be hard to let this sweet boy go but we were determined to find him a deserving home where he had multiple people to love on him.

Along comes the perfect family

When Cheryl and Dave met Harvey's new family for the 1st time it became clear to them that he had found his home. He is now enjoying his 1st Christmas in his forever home and here's what his new family has to say about him:

He fit right in, right from the beginning, just like he finally came home. It is like he has been here forever. He is the missing link in our family, and has given so much love. Our youngest girl, who is disabled, sings the Dukes of Hazard song to him all the time, "just a good ole boy, never doing no harm," and he is sooo gentle with her, such a blessing because of her disabilities. Harvey is just like one of the kids. He has had no problems and they have had no issues with him. He sleeps with our older daughter or sometimes with mom. He waits patiently at the gate for as much as a 1/2 hour waiting for the children to come home. He cannot even be distracted by the neighborhood cat. He is a friend to all and a pleasure to be around. He is a special gift to this family. Thank you for all you do and for saving Harvey.

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Success Story of The Year "Runner Up"

Lake Haven rescue recovered 2 German Shepherds and a Golden Retriever. Both German Shepherds were heartworm positive. The Golden was used for breeding and was in terrible shape. She was shaved down in many spots due to mats and she was extremely frightened of almost everything. She was so afraid that she was the only dog we have known to scale a 6 foot kennel straight up the side. After she escaped it took 3 days for our dog handler (i.e. Dave) to catch her with the help of Newaygo Animal Control. Once caught she was brought into Dave's home to start an intensive process of gentle rehabilitation. The following is the story of these 3 dogs from the wonderful people who adopted them.

We weren't quite looking for a dog just yet, or so we said, a few months after losing our dear German Shepherd, Sophie, at the ripe old age of 15. There was one evening we were listening to a concert on our local beach and found ourselves wistful as we watched people enjoying the music while spending time with their dogs. I found myself browsing Petfinder quite often, but not quite committing to a search. One day I came home from work to Tony on Petfinder saying "come look at these dogs! I'm already filling out the application!" And there, at Lake Haven Rescue, were two beautiful German Shepherds named Jesse and Minzi! Tony never goes on Petfinder, yet he went there and found these dogs almost immediately after they were listed. It felt fateful, somehow, but we tried not to get too excited yet.

We were so happy when Cheryl contacted us and invited us to come meet the dogs. We found out that both had been surrendered due to a heartworm infection and were going through treatments. It was love at first sight for us, however, and from then on they were "our babies." Our hearts were broken along the way when Minzi had to be put down when advanced kidney cancer was found in her body during the spay surgery. Both vets felt she would not survive everything she was up against. We still think of her and how much we loved her right away. Of course there was no question in our minds that we would wait for Jesse to come through treatment. He was such an incredible and beautiful dog with gorgeous wise eyes.

Not long after, Cheryl told Tony about a Golden Retriever named Nina, who was frightened and needy, and maybe we'd like to meet her. She had really bonded with Jesse. The picture we saw of her was of a scared girl, curled up in a ball, with big eyes. We returned to Lake Haven to meet her. Dave had worked very hard with her to help her come out of her shell. We really loved her right away, especially once she was brave enough to shove her nose under my hand for attention. We wondered all the way home, however, if Dave would really give her up. We could see how fond of her he was! It was awhile before we realized that we would really be taking the two of them home and we were really happy and excited!

We were so very impressed with Cheryl and Dave. Jesse was completely free of his heartworm infection before we took him home. Both dogs had their neuter and spay done. They came to us already micro chipped. When we went back to get the dogs we could not believe the difference in Nina already! The hard work and dedication of what these people do is so obvious. They love these animals and do the best by them out of the goodness of their hearts. We cannot say enough about this. Cheryl has called to check on them and offered any advice when needed.

We've had "our babies" home for awhile now, and though we've a few *ahem!* challenges to get through with them, we love them so much and bond closer with them every day. Jesse is a strong, smart, and confident German Shepherd, who has naturally taken to guarding the house and property, yet is incredibly gentle. Nina has really come out of her shell and even likes to help Jesse guard the yard. She is the cuddliest dog ever and likes to lay her head in our laps while on the sofa.

We are blessed to have these wonderful dogs as companions in our lives and these dogs have been blessed to have been rescued by the awesome people at Lake Haven!

Jeri and Tony

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If at first you don't succeed.......

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. This is the opening line of a Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and an accurate summation of my experience with Lake Haven, but in reverse order. After having to put down my dog of over 12 years I was thrilled to find not one mixed border collie on your rescue sight but several. I filled out the adoption form, a first for me, and awaited to be approved. I was, and started the 3 hour drive at 5:00 am in order to get the first pick of the 44 puppies arriving from Georgia. It was a close choice between Joan and Jan, I chose Joan. She came with a bright and bubbly personality, unfortunately she also came with parvo. After the first night with me she became very ill and died a week later.

Now, for the best of times. I was devastated losing two dogs within 3 weeks of each other and wasn't about to get a third. Cheryl had other ideas. She e-mailed me often, (well, incessantly), suggesting(well, insisting) I take Joan's sister, Jan. She didn't give up, and after assuring me that if Jan got sick I could bring her back to Lake Haven I agreed. Lauren and Allison fostered Jan until they were sure she was totally healthy for which I am eternally grateful. She also came house broken which was quite an added attraction.

Jan's name is now Dixie and she is a healthy and happy 11 month old very bright and very happy dog. Dixie is on track to be my best dog ever and even though it was a rocky start I can't thank all the volunteers at Lake Haven enough for making this possible. Dixie makes me laugh every day and my life is definitely fuller, as is my vacuum. A special thanks to Cheryl for her inability to give up on matching dogs and people, even when they protest!

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One very happy dog

Well first, we had to change Ellie's name because it's what people call my grandmother; we call her Rosie. She plays with her squeaky football, LOVES being brushed, and has her own spot on the couch! We're working on getting her used to car rides so she can travel north for the 4th of July. Also in July, she starts her obedience classes so we can hopefully teach her some better leash manners. My husband also made this video of Rosie rolling on top of a bee she just killed. She was so happy!

Thank you for our little family!

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Wonderful gift of adoption

We started out to adopt one kitty about one year old, however we didn't find any that we really felt a connection with so we stopped by to see if Cheryl had any that we would want to adopt. She had a mother kitty with four kittens just a few hours old, we decided to foster the mama and four babies. We took them into our home and raised them until they were ready to be adopted. One of the babies went to a wonderful home in Grandville. After watching these babies grow and enjoying them so much we decided to adopt all three of them, they are now a huge part of our family, we love and adore these little darlings as naughty as they are at times. We feel very fortunate that they allow us to live with them ! Thank you Cheryl for giving us the most wonderful gift of adoption. Joe and Jane

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He fits right in and we love him

In early April we adopted one of the boxer-mix puppies you rescued from Georgia - named Leroy. We renamed him Hunter and he's a fabulous fit with our family! We thought you'd appreciate knowing he is VERY loved & spoiled. He's doing fabulous with our 2 1/2 year old German Shepherd, Rocky. I'm attaching a picture just so you can see how adorable they are together! Sincerely, Teresa,
Jerry & Josh

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Couldn't have asked for anything better

We just got legal guardianship of a 13 yr old boy. We wanted him to feel at home, and find him something he could truly call his own. We decided a puppy would be a great idea. After no luck with any puppies we went to Pet Smart in Grandville were we met Angie, a yr old German shepherd/ rott who our child feel in love with. Through out the search we seen a lot of puppies, that's when our son decided, no matter how old they are everyone needs someone that will love them and a place for them to call home! Cheryl the owner of Lake Haven took the time to meet with us a second time to make sure she was a right fit. We’ve had her for two days now and we couldn't have asked for anything better! Thank You Lake Haven !

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In our forever home

My husband Drew and I recently adopted two kittens from Lake Haven via the Grandville PetSmart. We went into PetSmart with kittens on the brain – we just got married and our new house was just too empty without a cat. 7 week old Dexter (then “Domino”) immediately popped out to me as “The Perfect Kitten” and I brought him home that day. Dexter adjusted wonderfully, he’s an incredibly bold little guy and he’s not afraid of anything. (Although a little spoiled) he’s the friendliest, nicest cat I’ve ever met. After a couple weeks I realized (okay, assumed) Dex was lonely, so Drew picked up Loki last weekend from the same PetSmart. Dexter and Loki hit it off immediately. Thank you so much for “my boys”! Both are safe and sound in their new forever-home.

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Katie has enriched our lives

I just wanted to send an update about Katie, who I adopted about 3 years ago. She has learned how to be a great pet, which wasn't quite the case when I got her. She'd not been treated well until Lake Haven got her: she was cleaned up, and healed from heartworm, and given some love from her foster family. Early this year she had a couple growths on her mammary glands that had grown progressively, one approaching golf ball-size. The prognosis was pretty dire but she had her surgery and is doing just great! You can see she's so great with kids. So after three years of much love from my senior, adopted dog Katie, my family just wanted to give an encouraging update. Lake Haven's effort with Golden Setter Katie has enriched me and my family's lives very much.

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Thanks for taking a chance with us

I adopted a puppy from you a few years ago and since then have myself become a dog foster mom. One of my favorite things is when people follow up and let me know how their dog is doing so I figured better late then never on our adoption of Dudley. We were turned down by a local rescue because both my husband and I worked and I don't think they believed that we were planning on taking the puppy to puppy daycare daily and I was so thankful you gave us the chance. We call him saint Dudley which is funny because he was trouble with a capital T - and made Marley (from the book) look like an angel - but he finally grew up and is the smartest, nicest boy and is so wonderful with every single dog I've brought in to foster. He loves to camp, dock dive, fetch, and pick tomatoes. We loved him so much we rescued a second dog and they are inseparable. We don't have kids so you can imagine they are spoiled rotten....thank you for taking a chance on us!!

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Why do people volunteer?

The following are only two of many stories that I have experienced on how happy people are after they have added a new family member. Seeing the joy that rescuing brings to the new adopters is one reason that I volunteer for Lake Haven.  Valerie

Ross was only 8 when he lost his best friend and older “brother” Louie. At a Saturday adoption event Ross came to the table with his teary eyes buried at his mom’s hip and his dad’s hand on his shoulder, his sister standing at his side. He asked to hold a puppy and one was handed to him, then he asked to hold a different one. After about 15 minutes he said this was the one, a lab mix puppy that was 10 weeks old. He had already had a name he wanted to name his new friend, Lander, after his favorite pitcher Justin Verlander. After the paper work was complete, Ross’ dad sat behind the adoption table for 45 minutes holding Lander while Ross and his sister brought things over asking if they could buy them for the new puppy. Each time the dad shook his head yes, dad was so happy to again see smiles on his kids faces that he just kept nodding.

Tom and Jan were empty nesters, except for Lucy; but it was time for Lucy to also leave their home. Jan needed a new dog that would greet her with their tail wagging when she walked in to her home, Tom was not sure if he was ready. Jan talked Tom into visiting a Saturday adoption event, thinking just seeing what was there would make him ready for a new family member. For Jan it was love at first sight, a 3 month old, black and white beagle lab mix. She held him, walked him around the store and held him again. She could see that Tom still was not ready, so she handed him the little girl to hold. The puppy looked at Tom and then put her head on Tom’s shoulder and fell asleep, Tom’s eyes were watering. That was it, Tom was ready. After the paperwork was finished, with his eyes still teary, Tom came up to me gave me a hug and said, ” just so you know, I don’t have allergies, I’m happy”.

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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






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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