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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Lives Impacted by Your Support:

Meet Royalty

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

A337822 was her number. She came into Minneapolis Animal Care and Control as a stray on March 19, 2021. She was underweight, scared, and very nervous. The shelter named her “Royalty”. She was just 1-year-old and had a lot of life ahead of her but due to her being so shy and nervous she was not eligible for adoption through the shelter.
Royalty was microchipped but despite notifying the owners they never contacted the shelter or attempted to reclaim her. She would need rescue placement into foster care so she could build confidence and trust. This is where Pet Haven stepped in and when we brought her into foster care we learned more about her.
Royalty had a broken heart. She needed a community to help her heal it.
Royalty’s heart is broken NOT because she ended up in a shelter and was labeled “unadoptable.”
Not because her owners didn’t claim her.
Not because she was undersocialized and fearful trying to avoid all contact with people as a result. Not because she did not know what home or love was……she does know home and love in her Pet Haven Foster home.
Royalty’s heart is broken because she has a congenital heart defect.
She has lived the first year and a half of her life with no one knowing until she collapsed and was taken to VCA Feist Animal Hospital. There we found out her chest was filled with fluid. She needed a chest tap and an ultrasound which showed something was wrong with her heart.
wound from chest tap.
She would need an echocardiogram to see exactly how her heart was broken which the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital helped us get.
What we found out broke our hearts too……
Royalty had a defect in the left valve of her heart and the valve is too tight. And because of this, her left valve is not pumping properly and her heart cannot pump the blood properly and it backs up into her lungs. The pressure increases and causes fluid to build up in her lungs and chest. As a result of this, the right side of the heart is working too hard and being damaged as well.
This is not good for the heart long term. She will not survive. Her time was short. She needed a balloon valvuloplasty. She needed it fast.
The University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital made room in its very tight schedule to get Royalty in for the life-saving procedure she needed, a balloon valvuloplasty. We would need help with funding.
The procedure could cost between $4000 – $5000.
We believe Royalty’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 Royalty a chance at a long life.
Because of the generosity of our community, VCA Feist, the U of M, and the Phoenix fund, we were able to provide Royalty with this life-saving procedure. 
We are thrilled to report Royalty is recovering nicely!
Team Royalty at the U strongly felt she would have good results but she achieved even better results than expected! 
Below is an excerpt from the surgery report:
The average reduction in the pressure gradient with balloon valvuloplasty is reported to be
approximately 50-60%, which is considered a procedural success. In Royalty’s case, we were able to decrease the pressure gradient by over 100%, which is wonderful! Royalty’s original pressure gradient was 242 mmHg, and the pressure gradient following surgery was 20 mmHg. We are hopeful that with time, the thickening to the right ventricle will decrease, the elevated right-sided pressures will come down, and right heart function will improve– therefore decreasing her risk for right congestive heart failure and pleural effusion.
We are grateful to give Royalty a chance at a full life. Please consider a gift to our Phoenix Fund to help dogs like Royalty have a long healthy life.



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!


How the Fund Works

What it Costs to Save Lives