Back Home

Lake Haven Rescue

2016 Holiday Newsletter

A message from the Director

I have always believed that the only way to change something or make things better is to get up and do something about it. If you wait for all the stars to line up it may never happen. And so it was when I got up one morning about 9 years ago and realized I would never be able to adopt my way out of animals and the suffering and cruelty would just keep multiplying. It was then I knew we had to have a spay/neuter program in this County or it would never stop.

Even though I was adopting and spaying and neutering all that came through my doors it just was not enough. I was already doing about 1200 animals a year for my rescue, but living in a poor County I could see that the public needed help with their own animals. Though I knew nothing about running a spay/neuter program I allocated 50,000.00 to start one. Fortunately, I have volunteers who feel the same way I do about the importance of this program. Kathleen Milthaler has spent the last three years running this program so critical to our rescue mission. Laurie Miller has been very helpful with the grant writing process.

With the help from Bissell Blocktail Grants we have been able to continue our program and are doing spays/neuters on about 400 animals a year for the public. We are currently running a Barn Cat/ stray Cat special for just $10.00, this program is for anyone who lives in Newaygo County. We are also running a Spay/Neuter program for low income people who live in Newaygo County, Dogs are $25.00 and cats are $20.00. Doctor Sam Ciatto of Animal Wellness Center in White Cloud has helped make this program the success it is; a charitable Vet giving back to his community. Thankfully there are many more programs in other Counties surrounding us and together we have made a huge impact.

Some welcome comments from Newaygo County Animal Control
When I started 10 years ago the numbers of intakes of animals were approximately 1100 plus. Every year I have seen that number drop. This past year numbers of animal intakes were down to approximately 336. Not only is that a huge reduction of animals brought in but now so much more time is dedicated to getting animals adopted via the general public and thru our contacts with rescues, and more time can be spent investigating and prosecuting cruelty complaints. The reduction in puppy litters is especially noticeable as we have had not one puppy litter this year. And also pregnant cats are not coming in as fast as they did. Lake Haven has been an asset to the County because of this program and it is essential that it continue. Lake Haven served as an example to have the County to do the same and spay and neuter everything before they leave. We at Animal Control and the Animal Shelter are grateful for Lake Haven’s help and all the great work they do. Officer Kevin Carr

Lake Haven's Goals

  • 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.

Rescuing Seniors

Everyone Loves A Puppy, But Senior Dogs Love Everyone

The end of June this year we had two beautiful senior Collies surrendered to us. Seniors are my favorites and these Collies were so well loved and well- adjusted I knew they should be easy to place. Complicating that was the fact I wanted to keep them together as they had never lived apart. We brought them up to date , did dentals and complete blood profiles and found that Daisy needed further testing. As we waited for results I received an application from a family with lots of Collie experience but they were from Santa Barbara California. I called them and talked with them several times extensively, and received their Vet reference back which was stellar and at that time decided that this is where these Collies should go. And thus began an August adventure to meet and adopt two beautiful senior Collies. Mitch and his brother “Uncle Bob” traveled more than 5000 miles , touched 19 states and had the time of their lives. Most importantly they brought two Lake Haven Collies back home to California.

Success Story of the Year

The Best is Yet to Be....

Robbie is a Collie mix that came up from the heart of Alabama on June 29, 2016, the first of many transports we would make this year to rescue moms and their puppies. We received pleas for help from several places in the south, mostly because they have no spay/neuter programs and attitudes towards animals are very different there. Whole litters of puppies are euthanized along with their moms , oftentimes the day of arrival into the shelters. We hardly ever get puppies anymore from local shelters because our spay/neuter programs are very successful here in Michigan. Our program that we run in Newaygo County has been applauded by our Animal Control Officer who welcomes the reduced numbers.

At every intake we have volunteers who come to help and usually we have someone taking pictures. The picture of Robbie in the kennel was snapped when he was carried off the truck after a long grueling drive. I was so disturbed by the look on his face, the look of confusion, desolation, and I think he had finally given up. I saw it on so many faces that day. I did notice that as soon as the bathing began and the hands came out to massage and rub them their faces would change. It was like the bathing was the beginning of their healing process. As they sat being held by their rescuers the faces changed to pleasure and comfort. So moved I was by that photo that I had the photographer come back and take another picture after his adoption. I was so glad to see the remarkable change that love and caring had made. He has been adopted with his brother and they both have a chance now at a wonderful new life. Best of luck to Robbie and Rudy.

More Success Stories  :-)

Loved by all of us...

I need to thank Cheryl for taking Frankie and making this adoption possible and I also need to thank all of the people who have taken care of and raised Frankie over the last year. He is an amazing dog that is very loving, kind and gentle. We truly love him. We lost our coon hound three weeks ago. I thought I'd start looking at dogs but was not expecting to find such a fine one as Frankie so soon. I could tell by his picture that he had soft, gentle eyes with "that certain look", so along with my husband, we went to meet him. He was amidst chaos at the pet store with many noisy dogs and a lot of commotion and he was very calm and friendly. We were interested in adopting him but had to make sure this was the right time. So we went home and I could not get him out of my mind. So I called Cheryl and asked if we could try him out. We have a 4 year old Chihuahua, Marlo, whom we also rescued through Cheryl, and we needed to make sure he'd get along with Frankie. And he did. After a few barks on Marlo's part, they were getting along just fine.

Frankie is very loved by all of us. Besides my husband, I have two sons, 17 & 21. They all love Frankie and Frankie seems to love all of us. He goes for walks every day. He is eating well, twice a day and seems to be adjusting to our family life just fine. He is doing well with going potty outside. We do not leave him outside unattended and have noticed he does enjoy being out. He is a very good boy. He's smart and seems to learn quickly. He's a joy to have around. He is truly a gift from God & once again, thank you for taking such good care of him this past year.
Sincerely, Frankie's mom

Someone to play with...

Hello Cheryl, just wanted to give you an update on Artemis (formerly Morgan). She is getting along well with her new feline brother, Binx, and I think he enjoys having someone to play with. We have only had her a week and already she knows that when we grab the leash, she is either going to play outside or going for a car ride so she runs right over to us and politely sits while we put the leash on her. We have been trying to take her with us whenever possible so she gets used to different sites, smells, and situations. I'm hoping to take her camping next year. My husband took her on a walk around the lake near our house and apparently she had no problem jumping right in. I gave her the first bath and nail trim yesterday...she did really well for her bath but the nail trimming needs some work! She loves to snuggle....the cat taught her how to jump on the bed and now she thinks that she needs to sleep right next to me, or even better, on top of me! She is such a fantastic dog and I'm so glad that you guys brought her from Alabama.

The ruler of our home...

A few years ago 2013 late summer I walked into PetSmart in Grandville and saw a kitten that looked exactly like a cat I had a few years ago. A Siamese mix. He is now the ruler of our home and he knows it!
(My dog was jealous and had to get in the pic too! Thanks so much! Someday I would like a large white dog, but I think my eskie (from Calhoun shelter) would need therapy. Thanks again! Sue

The new brother introduction...

Buddy (on top), a previous Lake Haven rescue, being introduced to his new brother Walter, also a Lake Haven adoptee. Thank you to Lake Haven and Pet Supplies Plus for their compassion.  Thank you,  Alan & Pam K

Baler and Beast...

I haven't shared an update in a while and haven't been involved in volunteering most of this year, so I just wanted to check in. Baler and Beast. These two had great health reports at the vet yesterday and were champs getting the their rabies shots AND microchips. We moved from a condo to a house this year and now instead of escaping into a hallway they could actually get outside (although fortunately they don't try too hard) so it was time for chips, just in case. Life is going to get even crazier soon... in just a few weeks they will become big brothers to a human baby! I'm honestly not sure if they have any idea what is coming, and they seem to think we just bought them a ton of new furniture and toys... we're hoping they adjust well and can't wait see how the fur babes interact with a real babe!

They have become friends...

Less than 3 months ago we adopted Cash (formally known as Pretzel) and after a few days we were considering giving him back because Chloe (formally Bonita, adopted 12/20/15) was not having it. These two have opposite personalities but they have become friends! I caught them this morning cuddling right before they began their morning routine of wrestling, licking, and chasing each other.

Bestest of buddies...

This is a picture of our Milo jumping on his new little brother, Tim and they are the “bestest of buddies”. Milo is doing so well. He is so sweet and loving and is brave at home. He still struggles a bit in new places but he gets better each time. I didn’t realize how much Milo needed a young companion to play with.

The three of us are going up to Dog Scout Camp next weekend for a Leadership Retreat, and we’re also registered for the July week long camp. Both boys are doing so well with their training that I think both will come home from Summer Camp with their Dog Scout Badges… and maybe a couple more badges to boot.

I think of you and am grateful every day. OH! Milo still has his little Dora the Explorer doll that you gave him and it is still his favorite toy. Sincerely, Barb

Her eyesight was restored...

Nadia was a darling little dog dropped off at the shelter one morning by a guy that said she was sleeping on his porch and could not take care of her. Well, part of that was true, he sure did not take care of her but it was his dog. As I pulled her from the carrier I noticed she was covered in fleas, they were everywhere, crawling into her eyes and all over her semi bald body.

Looking at her eyes I realized she was blind, with large funny looking sores on her eyes and left immediately for the vet. Dr Russell at Fremont Animal Hospital said she had large ulcers on her eyes from some type of injury and he was unsure if she would see again. During her time there he carefully placed medicated mesh pads on the ulcerated eyes and then stitched her third eyelids over the pads to hold them in place.

Two weeks went by and the day came to remove her stiches and open her eyes. Her eyesight was restored and she went on to complete all her medicals and she is a happy little adopted dog today.

Lives to run and please...

Here's Cooper, our now ten month old boy from Lake Haven who's all or nearly all grown up. He is such a smart lad who just lives to retrieve. We were out this morning for a couple of hours doing double retrieves and he'd have quite happily retrieved those dummies all day long, he just lives to run and to please.

The other old boy in the photo is Jake our ten year old lad who was also a rescue. Jake teaches Coop all the bad habits not that he needs much showing when it comes to looking for trouble.

Not one better...

From the time we got her she never chewed anything but toys and bones. Just seemed to have a set of adult dog manners from birth. Loves kids, dogs, people, everyone loves her. We walk 2 miles a day and people still stop and say "what a cute puppy". She has now picked out a spot on our king size bed and claimed it as her own. We don't mind. I'm 62 and have had many dogs but not one better. Sweet loving girl.Thanks for the great girl. Greg and Tammy

He has changed our family...

I just love everything about this organization! This is Dozer! We adopted him about 4.5 years ago. He was rescued from Georgia! He has changed our family in the best ways! Seeing all the pups from Alabama really has me thinking I want another. Lake Haven has such good hearts for rescuing these amazing animals. — Monica



She loves him...

My kitten that was adopted from Lake Haven, with her favorite of my three dogs.

She just loves him.


Double Foster Failure...

We fostered then fell in love with two, the family is about to hit the jackpot.

Here's the whole family at bedtime.



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.

Special Thanks to Vets

Lake Haven would like to thank the those veterinary clinics that have done so much to help us save animals through their dedication to the profession. These are skilled and charitable Veterinarians with skilled staff and we encourage you to visit and support their clinic.

Cedar Springs Animal Hospital

Fremont Animal Hospital
(231) 924-4940

Jelsema Veterinary Clinic
(616) 662-6230

Animal Wellness Center of White Cloud
(231) 689-0630

A special thanks to Dr Jelsema and Dr Emberly from Jelsema Vet Clinic in Hudsonville for all your help with our kitten litters and especially with our Alabama pups that came in such numbers. We could never do it without you. Here's just a few you saved:

A special thanks to the highly skilled Vets Dr Russell and Dr Breuker at Fremont Animal Hospital and their wonderful staff for helping us with the many hard luck cases we take in. We could never do our work here without you. Here's just a few you saved:

Donors, Adopters, Volunteers

To my volunteers , simply put , I thank you. All of my accomplishments are yours, you are the real force behind Lake Haven. To our donors, nothing can be accomplished without you. You are as essential as the valued volunteer. Our adopters are wonderful people capable of waiting for what they know will be “that perfect fit”.

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:  If you want to use a personal check simple print the form below and send it to Lake Haven in Newaygo. Send your personal check made out to "Lake Haven" at:

Lake Haven
551 Pickerel Lake Dr.
Newaygo, MI 49337

You can also make an electronic donation using a credit card or PayPal. Just click on the button below"



Lake Haven's Holliday Wishes to you:
May Peace, Hope, and Love be with you Today, Tomorrow, and Always.

 Top of Page