The Phoenix Fund


Watch Kaia’s Journey to Rise from the Ashes and Run!


Since 1952, Pet Haven has been a pioneer in creating a refuge for Special Needs animals in need of loving homes. In the last 5 years, we have been grateful to raise more than $465,000 for rescue-related veterinary expenses. Realizing that nearly half is spent on life-saving services for Special Needs Pets, and inspired by a heroic and sweet German Shepherd, we created The Phoenix Fund, dedicated to supporting the recovery and health of animals most in need of medical care.

On a 17-degree winter day, a Minnesota shelter received a call about a white German Shepherd who lay dying on the side of the road. The shelter, ill-equipped to care for the animal, contacted Pet Haven for help. We didn’t hesitate.

The nameless abandoned dog came to us with a broken leg, severe mange, double ear infection, road rash, multiple lacerations, and weighed in at a heartbreaking 40 pounds. We named this gaunt, yet gallant gent Phoenix, in honor of the mythological bird who was given new life and rose from the ashes. We’re proud to report, not only did Phoenix heal physically, he came to accept the kindness of his caregivers and learned to trust people.

8 months later, he was welcomed into his new family as a happy and healthy angel of a dog.


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How the Fund Works


What it Costs to Save Lives


Lives Impacted by Your Support:

Meet Cleo



Our Phoenix Fund program allows us to take in special needs animals like Cleo, who require extra medical care.

Cleo found her way to Pet Haven through one of our Northern Minnesota Rescue Partners. Cleo and her family live in an area of Minnesota that has little to no resources. There are no grocery stores, no pet food or supplies, and no access to veterinary care. The closest Veterinary clinic was 150 miles away.  Cleo started having “poop issues” and it was really bad. Her family drove miles to a clinic to get her help, but they didn’t have the means or ability to continue the diagnostic testing or the need for recurring care visits. Options for care were discussed. The clinic told the family about Leech Lake Legacy’s surrender program and Pet Haven’s Phoenix Fund, which helps medical needs pets. Through Leech Lake Legacy and Pet Haven’s support, Cleo could have a chance at a healthy life.


The decision to surrender was heartbreaking.


She ended up getting very sick and crashing shortly after she came to us. She was deteriorating fast, and we could not figure out what was going on.

Cleo ended up rushed to the U of M emergency room, where she needed to be hospitalized, but they saved her life, diagnosing her with a condition called protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) caused by untreated irritable bowel disease over many years.

It causes her to lose proteins from her bloodstream into her GI tract faster than her body can replenish them. She needs to stay on medication and a prescription diet for the rest of her life which helps manage these conditions.

The University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital has given Cleo top-notch care, and she loves to visit her friends there!
She now has a rich fun-filled life full of new experiences, lots of friends, and a loving foster home. She is ready for her next journey to find her forever family.
Cleo’s total cost of diagnostics and continued care to get her healthy was expensive. We are grateful to the individuals who gave generously to save Cleo.
We believe Cleo’s life has value. We believe she deserves the chance to know love and a family of her own. We have watched her blossom in foster care, gain confidence, learn to trust, start to play, get the zoomies, and we didn’t want to see that cut short. We wanted to give Cleo a chance at a long healthy life.
Because of the generosity of our community, the U of M, and the Phoenix Fund, we were able to provide Cleo with the life-saving care she needed. 
We are thrilled to report that Cleo is doing great and is up for adoption!
Take a look at her ADOPTION PROFILE.
We are grateful to give Cleo a chance to live a full life. Please consider a gift to our Phoenix Fund to help dogs like Cleo live long, healthy lives.



Meet Jackson


 Our Phoenix Fund program allows us to take in special needs animals who need extra medical care like Jackson.

Meet Jackson: a sweet, loving guy full of headbutts and purrs. His resilience and ability to forgive us humans are inspiring. Jackson was the victim of extreme cruelty. We cannot understand how people can hurt any living creature but we are grateful for the support the Phoenix Fund gets from our community so we can quickly say yes to pets in a crisis like Jackson. We received an urgent call from one of our Northern Minnesota Rescue Partners. They had removed a cat from a home that was in really bad shape. He needed care and a safe place to recover. We heard Jackson’s story and said YES immediately.

A collar was placed on Jackson when he was a kitten and was zip-tied together so it could not pop off. The result of this was an embedded collar quite deep into his neck. This collar had to be surgically removed and left a deep hole in his neck.

Jackson also suffered other injuries. He was burned by curling iron and suffered terrible burns to his back. He would need extensive care and time to heal in a safe environment. We arranged for transport with Leech Lake Legacy. In less than 24 hours Jackson was on his way down to the cities and a new life in Pet Haven Foster Care!

Once in the safety of his fosters, Jackson began the healing process.


His fosters are amazed at his resilience and his ability to trust again. 

Jackson’s adoption fee of $180 will barely touch the medical costs accrued for his care but we believe every life has value and he is worth every penny. Jackson was adopted by his foster family. After everything he had been through with him, they just couldn’t bear to give him up. Jackson is HOME!


Thank you to our amazing fosters that gift their time and resources to care for pets in crisis. If you are interested in making a difference in the life of a pet in need consider joining the Pet Haven Foster Family. To support Jackson or others like him please consider a gift to our Phoenix Fund. Thank you!



The Phoenix Fund Saves Lives. Any gift of support is a chance at a new life. Thank you for considering a donation to the Pet Haven Phoenix Fund!

Thank you for helping Royalty, Jackson, and others like them!