The Phoenix Fund

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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Lives Impacted by Your Support

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. 

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!


Meet Jada



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

Meet Jada: an adorable, loving, playful two-year-old mastiff mix.

Jada came into Pet Haven’s care with a limp and wasn’t able to put all of her weight on her right leg.

When she first went to the vet for x-rays, we had no idea what was actually in store for the rescue or for Jada. Along the way, Jada went to three different vets. Because what was thought to be just an ACL tear was actually much worse and needed to be seen by the U of M.

After careful examination, it was determined that her bones hadn’t grown together appropriately, and she had a grade IV (the worst!) luxation (or dislocation) of her right patella (kneecap).  She was walking around with her kneecap on the wrong side of her leg at all times! Due to it being out of place for so long, one of the knee ligaments (her ACL) that was holding her unstable knee together had torn as well. Finally, after further X-rays, it turned out she had a previous fracture of her left femur from trauma.

The options we had for Jada’s knee were to straighten out the bone and repair the ligament or amputate her right leg, leaving her with only the already weakened left leg from previous trauma. Due to the other leg being so weak from trauma amputation was not really an option. If we could not repair her leg she would deteriorate rapidly.

Hoping that Jada could return to her favorite activities and find a home without the need for extra care and assistive devices, Pet Haven came through with their promise to Jada to help her get back to a full and healthy life.

She underwent surgery shortly after her diagnosis.  She had her femur reshaped to fix the birth deformity, and her tibia (shin bone) was reshaped and plated with metal to take over the job of the torn ligament.


Thanks to the U of M surgery team, Jada will be able to return to her favorite things: running, playing fetch, and playing with her people. 


Because her surgery was intricate and intense, the vet bills were thousands of dollars, therefore we rely on the generosity of our donor’s gifts to help us offset the costs that our adoption fees do not cover.

Without this surgery, she would have lived her life suffering from a painful leg.

Jada’s total medical care was over $5,000!

We received a generous grant from the U of M that covered half of those expenses. We would not have been able to offer Jada this opportunity without this.

Jada’s adoption fee was $430.00.

This is a HUGE gap between the cost of needed medical care and what we recover in adoption fees. This is why the Phoenix fund is so important to Pet Haven and the animals we care for.

Because we have the Pheonix fund Jada was able to quickly undergo life-changing surgery, has fully recovered, and has found her forever family. We are so happy Jada came into our care and that we were able to give him what he needed to be a healthy, happy loved dog.

We are happy to report Jada was adopted by her foster family and is living the good life and has moved south to Florida!


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 to save Jada and Jackson!


How the Fund Works

What it Costs to Save Lives