SPECIAL DOGS. SPECIAL NEEDS. SPECIAL HEARTS.
Heath's Haven is a small-but-mighty, home-based rescue and sanctuary run by Jolene & Shawn. The dogs are cared for in a home environment from the moment they arrive until the day the are adopted by their forever family. Heath’s Haven also provides a forever sanctuary to hospice or severely medically challenged canines. These dogs are provided a safe and healthy home environment to live out the rest of their days with dignity and love. Because Heath’s Haven is a small rescue, the appropriate time, care, and efforts can be provided to each individual animal based on their specific needs and requirements.
Jolene with Goose, Hannah, & Misty!
You will typically find Jolene transporting dogs to and from their appointments, on her phone responding to emails and messages, updating social media, processing adoption/foster applications, and coordinating transports. She is the administrative back-bone of the rescue, and is also the care taker of the more medically needy dogs at Heath’s Haven.
Shawn with Terra & Misty
Shawn is the behind the scenes kind of guy at Heath’s Haven! You will always find him with a dog (or 10) on his heels doing the physical work around the rescue. He manages the care of all of the sanctuary dogs as well as the medically/physically stable dogs, and he is also our behavioral guru! Shawn’s hard work, dedication, and interaction with the animals is truly inspiring.
The dog that started it all for Heath’s Haven!
Heath’s Haven was started in October 2010 when Phoenix the Husky mix was adopted from a rescue in Kansas. At 6 weeks old she was abandoned in a box, in a pet store parking lot, on a 105 degree day. She was unconscious, severely dehydrated, and couldn’t use her hind end. New Beginnings Dog Rescue took her in and had her treated for dehydration.
When the rescue noticed she couldn’t use her hind end, they had her evaluated in the neurology department at The University of Missouri. An MRI, spinal tap, blood work, urinalysis, and xrays were all performed, but they could not diagnose why she had the weakness in her hind end. The rescue decided to put her up for adoption and she was placed in a foster home.
Shawn and Jolene found Phoenix on Petfinder.com and contacted the foster family she was staying with. After much discussion, they decided that they would like to adopt Phoenix. They ordered her a wheelchair right away so she would have it upon her arrival, and transport was arranged.
When they got her home, not only did she have hind end weakness, but she was food, toy, and water aggressive. They had three other dogs at the time so they had to work with her on these issues. She caught on to using the wheelchair very quickly, and right away she was running around at the dog park and chasing other dogs. In February 2011 she was evaluated by the Neurology Department at The Washington State University Teaching Hospital, but they also could not find a diagnosis/cause for her condition.
Phoenix was provided with acupuncture treatments and hydrotherapy sessions in hopes of some improvement. She did well with the acupuncture and hydrotherapy and went every week for almost 6 years! As time went on her condition got worse and the acupuncture and hydrotherapy lost its effectiveness.
As Phoenix continues to get older, her condition progressively gets worse, but she can still function on her own. She is now 9 years old and still as happy as ever! The doctors gave her a guarded to poor prognosis and did not believe she would live beyond her first year of life. With a little extra time, dedication, and resources…she proved them all wrong!
Jolene and Shawn were able to provide Phoenix with a great quality of life and they continued to personally take in more special needs dogs at risk of euthanasia for no other reason than being “different.” Their local community, and the veterinarians and specialists they regularly worked with, repeatedly told them that there was a significant need for this kind of rescue and they were the right kind of people to do it. So they did! In June of 2013 Heath’s Haven officially became a registered 501c3 Non-Profit Rescue for Special Dogs with Special Needs!