Christmas Newsletter for
from Lake Haven Rescue
A message from the Director
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
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
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
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.
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,
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
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,
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
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!
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.
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
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!
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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A Happy Family
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!!
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
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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.
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
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
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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
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
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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
(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
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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
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
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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
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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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
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
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
for a detailed listing of these veterinary clinics.
Great Lakes Hospital for Animals
Byron Center Animal Hospital
Southkent Veterinary Hospital
Southkent Veterinary Hospital
South Crossing Vet Center
Family Friends Vet Hospital
Cascade Animal Hospital
Dorr Veterinary Clinic
Fremont Animal Hospital
West Michigan spay/neuter Clinic
Grand Haven Animal Hospital
Prelesnik Animal Hospital
Plymouth Road Animal Clinic
Red Barn Veterinary Clinic
Safe Harbor Animal Hospital
Schmitt's Animal Hospital
Westwood Hills Animal Hospital
Ottawa Animal Hospital
East Holland Veterinary Clinic
Howard City Animal Hospital*
Georgetown Animal Hospital
Jelsema Veterinary Clinic
Chicago Drive Veterinary Clinic
Jenison Animal Hospital
Animal Hospital of Lowell
Rockford Animal Hospital
Sand Lake Veterinary Services LLC
Companion Animal Veterinary Service
Kelley’s Animal Clinic
Animal Wellness Center of White
Animal Medical Center of Wyoming
Wyoming Animal Hospital
Zeeland Veterinary Hospital
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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
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
I would like to contribute:
My Name: __________________________________
City: ___________ State: _______ Zip:
My donation is in Memory/Honor of:
Donation Purpose (see suggestions above):
Send Acknowledge Card to:
City: _________________________ State: _______
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