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Lake Haven Rescue

2017 Holiday Newsletter

A message from the Director

I have received so many inquiries regarding my absence from Lake Haven activities this past summer and fall that I thought I would start this newsletter update with the reason. It started out with a simple blood clot in my right leg in late December 2016. I started a blood thinner and continued on as usual. In April a fellow volunteer noticed that my one eye appeared droopy and insisted I get it checked. I did and they said I was fine, no stroke or anything like that. A couple of weeks later I developed double vision and began searching for a reason. It impeded my ability on the computer, driving, and most things I did daily. After seeing a couple of eye doctors, a young Doctor insisted I do a special blood test. They sent the test to Mayo Clinic where I was diagnosed positive for Myasthenia Gravis, a serious auto-immune disease. Then it was off to a Neurologist who began ordering Cat Scans and MRI’s. It was discovered that I had a very large tumor attached to my Thymus gland. By this time I was becoming quite ill and things were becoming very difficult for me. Through the efforts of yet another Lake Haven Volunteer my surgery was moved up a month and on June 21nd I went to Meijer Heart Center for major surgery. The hope was and is that the removal of the tumor will eventually cause the MG to go into remission. I believe this process has already started.

I have had a rough few months but things are leveling off and Lake Haven has continued on without missing a beat. Of course that is due to the efforts of our loyal Lake Haven Volunteers. A special thank you to Laurie Miller for staying with me for several days after surgery, although my three boys were here they are not near as good a cook as she is. My boys stayed here all summer with me and I never spent a night alone until September. Even at the hospital I was never alone. A special thank you to Allison Stark and Jillian Berzsley who stepped up to do applications, intakes, surgery schedules and all the things I do daily. They and all the other fosters and volunteers just kept our little train moving. Thank you to Kelly Riebal for taking my little Tootsie for 2 weeks while I recovered. And of course thank you to all volunteers who worked hard to normalize things when I was down and I can’t possibly mention everyone. But I am probably the most grateful human on earth right now.

Our Spay/Neuter program is up and running, thank you to Laurie Miller for her grant writing abilities, Barb Vanderwall for her willingness to take over the program, Bissell Blocktail Grant for assisting us with cost of surgeries, and to Dr. Sam Ciatto of Animal Wellness of White Cloud for his surgical skills and his willingness to give back to his community in assisting us with this very successful program. I will mention that 10 years ago the Newaygo County Animal Shelter had intakes of 1100 plus animals per year, and last year they were down to 346. They attribute this reduction in numbers to our program which is in its 10th year. Our intakes also went down enabling us to pull pups up from the south from time to time.

Adoptions are going well and faster now due to changes in the way applications are processed, and our wonderful hard working volunteers. I have noticed a lot of interest in our senior dogs, a trend I find very comforting. The people interested in our seniors are a special group of people, extra caring and compassionate and it is wonderful to know they exist in such numbers. I look forward to the New Year ahead and making a difference in the lives of those who have no voice and no choice. And encouraging everyone to speak up when they see cruelty knowing we are all they have.

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

It was a cold Christmas morning in Trufant MI that I got a call that a little dog was on their porch in bad condition. They found out he had belonged to a man who passed away and no one wanted the old guy so they just left him out to fend for himself. They said he was injured which meant he needed immediate help. They brought him to the shelter and I assessed him the best I could. His eye was very injured, his skin was thickened and blackish and he was full of fleas with thin hair and many places there was none. He was not neutered, and had a mouth full of rotten teeth. He was underweight and very hungry. I gave him a bath and something for fleas and a nice warm bed. He seemed very grateful to be in a warm safe place. I took him to Dr Russell of Fremont Animal Hospital and was told Bubba was about 10 and the eye would have to be removed and he would need a dental. His blood work was normal and no heartworm. He was put on antibiotics for his mouth and scheduled for a dental in 2 weeks. Tammy Parmetier took him home to foster. Applications poured in for him and a home was chosen. He could not leave until his dental as it was extensive. After the dental the Vet found he had a huge mass in his abdomen. We opted to go to surgery and do what we could. It was a contained mass, not cancerous and it was removed successfully. We wondered so many times if he would make it or not. We will never forget him. His new adoptive family waited for him, so he found the forever home we were hoping for.

Success Story of the Year

He was left for dead

This is Rex (now named Axl) who was hit by a car and left for dead on the side of the road.  Rex managed to crawl into a field near a farmer's home.  They spotted him that evening and brought him to our dog rehabilitator Dave, who happened to be the farmers neighbor. Dave immediately called Cheryl who contacted the Lake Haven Vet who came into the office to see what could be done.

The collar that Rex had on showed that he had broken the chain he was tied to and we later learned that he was indeed chained to a dog house at a home near where he was hit.  Rex was reported to the County Animal Shelter as required and after 7 days no one claimed him so Lake Haven took him in for what was to be a long recovery process.

The Vet (Dr. Russell at Fremont Animal Hospital) determined that his front leg was broken, his back leg was severely bruised and he had numerous abrasions. It was doubtful that the leg could be saved but Lake Haven decided to give it a try. Dave nursed Rex back to health and after the initial splint was removed it was obvious that Rex would have to have his leg removed so it was back to the Vet and back to Dave's for more recovery. We are so grateful to Dr. Russell for attempting to save Rex's leg. He is a great surgeon and was willing to try.

After Rex recovered from removing his leg all this it was clear that he was a special, loving, dog that just wanted to be loved on.  Lake Haven was committed to finding Rex a forever home that would give him the love he deserved after all he went through in his 3 or 4 years of life. To that end entered two very special adopters, Jennie and David. The following is their update to Dave a few months after a tearful adoption.

Our "little" guy is still doing great. We continue to be surprised at how gentle he is-- he has met all of the other dogs in the family- two Australian Shepherds, a Pomeranian, and a Chihuahua. He loves to rough house with the bigger ones and even plays with the little ones-- they're sure to tell him if he's being too rough, but he is usually the one to take a break from them.

He just this past weekend took his first road trip to see family in South Bend. He snores in the back seat, but loves sitting in front if there's only one of us with him. We visited my sick grandmother and she thought he was so funny because he kept tooting in front of her... (All-natural food has it's disadvantages)

He still loves his peanut butter, and the occasional treat. We are having a difficult time getting him to go for walks, but I think he's just taking everything in. When we take him out he would rather lay down and relax than go on a walk. Then again, sometimes so would I. We ordered a special harness made for tripod dogs so that we can assist him if needed. He does very well with it. Dealing with the cats will be a slow process. He is the quietest pup ever.... Until the cats enter the room. Then he has to remind them he's there. He also met some of my nieces and nephews and lets them hug, and play, and doesn't mind it one bit.

Forgot to add!!! He is now officially my registered service dog! Should be less than a week before he recieves his official card and certificate. He's brings joy and happyness to everyone he meets.

More Success Stories  :-)

We love these little pups  

Hello! I just wanted to share a few photos of Bella and Bandit. They are doing great and have been to the vet for a quick check up and all is well! As you can see, we have had them groomed and they look adorable with their puppy cuts. I have requested membership into the Lake Haven Facebook group for adoptions. That way we will be able to share photos regularly.

I can assure you that these two little sweeties will be here for the rest of their lives. We love these little pups. They are far from perfect, but that’s just the way we like them. Bella won’t go out to pee if it’s raining. Bandit wants to go outside every 10 minutes. They wake up at the CRACK of dawn for breakfast. There are a bunch of little things that make them special, most of them are great, but some will take some getting used to. The bottom line is that they are so loving and so adorable. We have no problem making sacrifices for them, just like we did for Vern when he was with us. They will be truly great pets for a long, long time and we love them dearly. Thanks so much for everything you do.

Starting to settle in

Hi! Cheddar is doing great! He is the sweetest kitty ever! He are our dog are working things out. There was some hissing (Cheddar) and growling (our dog) for the 1st few days but they are starting to settle in. Here's a pic from this morning. Thank you so much! We love him!!!

Still a great dog

Over 13 years ago, 2003. I adopted a puppy from you. Mischief (Missy) has had quite the journey. A couple of weeks in Michigan and then the move to Maryland. Thankfully my apartment was so small that she decided to housebroken immediately. However, a chair, plant, can of soda (wish I had a hidden camera for that) didn't survive. A month in the new place and an emergency trip back to Michigan 13 hours during a storm and bitter temps. Missy, got to see Mom (who was in the hospital with cancer), walked thru the place like she did it every day. And was so gentle with Mom. Later curling up with her to keep her warm. Missy made friends in Maryland and loves the dog park. Especially loved the doggy beach. She adores kids and played bath ball with one of my foster babies. The neighborhood kids know her and stop to pet her. The bunnies know her and don't hop away. At 13 she is slowing down, a walk instead a run is more her speed now. But still is a great dog. Who is probably sleeping on my couch while I'm off working.

Most lovable little guy

Hello, my name is Kristen and I adopted a Pomeranian named Bobo from your rescue center almost three years ago now. I just wanted to send some pictures and tell you how amazing he's doing. When I first got him from you he had recently been rescued by you from an unfit home. He was very sensitive emotionally and his fur and skin were extremely patchy and rough. I'm pleased to say he has made a total turn around both physically and mentally. His skin and coat are soft and grew in completely, and he's the most loveable funny little guy now.

I just wanted to give anyone at your shelter that worked with him an update and thank you for bringing this insane little dude into my life. You guys do awesome work.

Things going well

Things are going really well with Milo. We love him so much! He is getting along with Lucy, and they loved running with Kyle this morning! I attached a picture.

Our lives are enriched

Today is Sidney's 1st birthday so we wanted to send you some pictures. She is a very sweet and energetic dog. She loves kids and has always been great around other dogs too. Her gruff bark is welcome when strangers arrive, but she is always friendly once introduced. She is 63 lbs now and when standing is about an inch taller than Leeloo at the shoulder. Our 7 year old Airedale Leeloo is 50, so sometimes Sidney's pup energy is a little much for Leeloo, but they are great friends and we are sure to let Leeloo have a break when she needs it.
We are so happy to have Sidney in our lives, she certainly has enriched it. I retired in February this year so I have a lot of time to hang out with Sidney and Leeloo. Definitely time well spent, with many heartwarming returns. Thank you so very much for all of your kind work and the immense amount of time you have given it. Best Regards, Dave and Martha (and Sidney).

Here are a few quick updates from Adopters:

Merry Christmas from Ella and Satch. Adopted from Lake Haven almost 3 years ago. They are pups from Haven't litter.



Isabelle cannot purr or meow, but she will answer me with a Hmm? type response. When I tell her it's time to go to bed, she follows me upstairs and leaps onto the bed. She is the best Birthday money I've ever spent.


First day of school for my daughter. Griffin was watching for the bus with her. He is going to miss his buddy! This morning my husband found him curled up on her bed. He always sleeps in our bedroom. He must've known she was a little nervous to start 1st grade.


Sophie just chillin' in her new sunglasses. Sophie was formerly known as Nadia and was adopted in June 2014. She now calls Washington State her home. She is a West Coast Dobie!





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.

Vets, Donors, Adopters, Volunteers

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.


Jelsema Veterinary Clinic
  (616) 662-6230

White Cloud
Animal Wellness Center
  (231) 689-0630

Cedar Springs
Cedar Springs Animal Hospital

Fremont Animal Hospital
  (231) 924-4940

I am especially grateful for our wonderful Veterinarians for all the work and effort they put forth every day to help us make a difference in the lives of animals in need. Thank you to Dr.Richard Russell, Dr. Marie Breuker, Dr. Gretchen Kronsbein of Fremont Animal Hospital for saving animals that have no chance at all. The critical ones all end up here, and they do a marvelous job.


Special thank you to Dr. Sam Ciatto, of Animal Wellness Center who takes care of animals at our Shelter and is the life blood of the Low-cost Spay/Neuter Program that has been so highly successful in Newaygo County. And thank you to Dr. Terry Jelsema, Dr. Julie Eberly of Jelsema Vet Clinic for handling our emergencies, and our animals in that area. Lake Haven is what they are because of them and we urge you to use these wonderful, skilled Veterinarians and their Clinics. Thank you Dr. Larry Nauta of Cedar Springs Animal Hospital for his skill with ultra sound, and Dr. Kelly Coll of Chicago Dr. Vet Hospital for showcasing our kittens and spay/neuter help.


I am grateful for our supporters, adopters, volunteers and our highly skilled, hardworking Veterinarians who help us make a difference in the lives of animals in need. And, of course, a very special thanks to all of our volunteers who’s compassion and dedication to saving the lives of animals remains the engine that keep Lake Haven going. AND to all that make a donation to our cause no words can thank you enough.

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.

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