Pet Haven’s Pawgress Report (April 2021)

Pet Haven’s Pawgress Report (April 2021)


Featured Volunteer Opportunity for April:

These owner surrenders need a place to land. 

Cat Transfer Volunteer

The cat transfer volunteer supports the Cat Owner Surrender team by providing their home as a meeting location when owners surrender their cats to Pet Haven fosters.

Estimated time commitment: 3 hours per week/ 12 hours per month

If you are interested in the Cat Transfer role, please email

We have many other positions in need as well! Click on this link to check out all opportunities!



April is volunteer appreciation month and Pet Haven would not be able to save the lives we save, make the impact on the community we make, and provide the care we do to our animals in need without all of you. 

So far this year to date we have brought 231 pets in need of a safe place to land into our foster care program. Many of these pets have needed medical care beyond basic vaccinations or spay/neuter procedures. Some have needed lifesaving care and we have been able to provide it. We are able to say yes because of you.

Last year we saved 845 pets in crisis and our animal care costs were close to $300,000. $257,715 were medical care expenses.

This year we hope to be able to help even more pets in need but we cannot do this without the generosity and support of our volunteers. Each of you play a very important role in Pet Haven’s success. 

Fosters who open your hearts and homes to foster pets in need allow us to actively save more lives by removing pets from shelters, rescuing them from at risk situations, and providing owners in crisis who are in need of surrender the peace of mind that their pet is safe in a home and not at risk. Thank you. The work you do is not easy but incredibly rewarding and truly life changing. 

To those of you that volunteer countless hours of your time, as part of the Pet Haven Team, doing administrative work in our many departments, your support is so incredibly valuable to Pet Haven’s success and ability to save more lives. Without you we would have to pay staff to do the work you all do. This would take the much needed funds away from the animals, the rescue work we do, and directly impact our ability to save lives. Thank you. The work you do is often tiring and sometimes overwhelming. I hope you know even if you are not working directly with our Pet Haven pets that you are truly saving lives.

To those of you that volunteer to do more physical work such as transport, supplies organization and support, and events, as they start to build back up, you are so valuable to our mission. Without you our foster pets would not get to where they need to go or have the food and supplies they need to be healthy. Thank you. The work you do is life changing work and truly saves lives.

To our Board Members, who volunteer their time to guide and provide direction and oversight to the organization, you ensure Pet Haven’s mission and strategic plan is followed along with also volunteering in many other ways. Thank you. Your work and support of Pet Haven directly impacts our ability to help pets in crisis and serve our community.

Many of you support Pet Haven through spreading the word of what we do, networking with your community, and helping to drive our mission forward to receive more support. Thank you. You help us greatly with our visibility in the community thus directly impacting our fundraising efforts which allow us to SAVE MORE LIVES.

Each and everyone one of you plays an important and integral role in the success of this organization and our ability to help more animals in need and people in crisis. Each and everyone of you are so valuable to Pet Haven and so very appreciated. I wish I could thank each of you in person and let you know how very grateful I am for the gifts you give to Pet Haven. The gift of yourself.

We are currently in negotiations for a physical space to call home. This will give us the opportunity to support and build community in new and exciting ways. It will also give us the opportunity to have a place where we can support our Pet Haven volunteers. Pet Haven received a trust several years ago that was earmarked specifically for the purpose of physical space. No funding will be taken away from pets in need to support this new venture. Once we have secured a physical space there will be new and exciting volunteer opportunities. Stay tuned!

We are able to do all this great work we do because of you. Thank you.



This month we celebrate the addition of two new volunteers to Pet Haven: Ender and Nick. They’re our “post-adoption support” volunteers and will be following up with new adopters to ensure that dogs and cats are making a smooth transition to their new home. If there are any issues or questions from adopters, Nick and Ender will make sure that they get answered by the fabulous folks at Pet Haven!

Click here to learn more about Nick and Ender and welcome them to Pet Haven. 



We have been super focused on expanding our vet care team this past month! We will be onboarding two new authorization coordinators to help Karynn as we have grown substantially in the last year! Welcome Melanie and Karen, and round of appaws to Karynn who is a powerhouse and keeps everything moving!

Savannah is another amazing addition to our team as a certified vet tech! She has been learning the ropes as far as Pet Haven processes and has already jumped in, helping with all the poop questions. 😉 I can’t wait to see Savannah flourish in her role as Vet Care Manager!

And we aren’t just strengthening our team, we are strengthening our processes too. One recent change involves our adult foster dogs. After doing some research into what shelters/rescues are doing and discussing it with the U of M, we have decided to start boostering DAPP vaccines for adult dogs. Vet clinics in the area typically only give adult dogs one vaccine but based on our research, we would like to do our due diligence and give them a booster. Boosters are given 3-4 weeks after the initial vaccine. If a dog is adopted prior to this, the adopter should be informed that we recommend a booster and that they will be responsible for it.

More great things to come from the vet care team!



Hi all!

This is my first Pawgress Report so I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself a bit!

My name is Savannah Johnston and I just recently joined the Pet Haven team at the end of March. I will be serving as the Vet Care Manager to handle vetting needs for the animals in our care. As you can imagine, there is a large learning curve with this job so it will be a while before I fully take the reins. For now, Ashley is doing an amazing job teaching me not only all things vetting but all things Pet Haven. I am enjoying every second of this learning process and am still pinching myself that this is something I have the privilege of doing.

For the last few years, I worked as a Certified Veterinary Technician at a small animal day practice. Before that, I went to NDSU and graduated with my Bachelor’s, majoring in Veterinary Technology and minoring in Business Administration. While in college, I worked at a local shelter as an Animal Care Technician. This is where I fell head over heels in love with animal rescue and knew it was where I was meant to be.

In my personal life, my world pretty much revolves around my pets. My partner, Chris, and I adopted a young black lab mix named Effie from a Kansas City rescue last year and she has kept us on our toes every day since. We also foster-failed our cat named Sasquatch who is the best napping buddy in the world. We try to be outside as a family as much as possible trying out new hikes or going to the lake. We also love to travel and spend time with our friends and extended family.

As we go forward, I want everyone to know how truly honored I am to be joining this family. I promise to give my all to you and to the animals of Pet Haven. Thank you in advance for having patience with me as I settle in. I look forward to working with you all!



Please join me in welcoming Elijah Berg to the Board! Elijah joined the Board in March. Elijah has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources and currently works in Human Resources for a non-profit organization.

The Board will have openings in the next few months since a couple of current members will need to step down when they reach their term limits. If you’re interested in joining the Board, please see the posting here.

Thank you to those who attended the Board’s first Zoom Town Hall last month. It was a great opportunity to virtually meet some of you and see some familiar faces. We enjoyed it so much that we plan to hold these events regularly going forward, so look for another opportunity to join the Board in the next few months.



Thank you to all of our volunteers! Going forward, rather than a simple list of volunteers who have joined or moved, we will be focused on highlighting one specific volunteer per month so we can put names to faces and learn a bit more about fellow volunteers. 

Pet Haven featured volunteer of the month: Meet Taylor!

Hello Pet Haven friends! If you don’t know me, I’m Taylor, and I’ve been volunteering with Pet Haven as the Cat Adoption Coordinator since July of 2017! Pet Haven came to me in a pivotal time in my life – I had just been laid off and was looking to prioritize my time in places that actually had meaning. I’ve always loved cats and have been known to burst into tears on the street when passing by a cute cat sunbathing in a window… so I guess that’s what landed me in the Cat Division, helping to find kittens and cats their perfect match of a forever home! 

My favorite part about being an Adoption Coordinator is that I’m able to interact with all of our cat fosters and be part of every adoption that takes place. Plus, I get to talk about cats all the time and get unlimited kitten pictures! When I’m not forwarding adoption applications to our foster families, I work for Schwan’s and get to talk about frozen pizza all day for my day job. Kittens or pizza, I’m your girl!

If you are interested in getting more involved as a volunteer, check out the opportunities listed at



Congratulations to the following 55 cats who were adopted in the month of March: Jessi, Norman,

Rory, Remi, Donald, Phoibos, Banana, Ginny, Neville, Nimzy, Cindy, Snowden, Apple, Kirk, Avery, Chance, Mulligan, Pippi, Anastasia Potts, Charlie, Alice, Bojangles, Persephone, Miche, Sylvester, Calvin, Alabama, Eva, Alfie, Baby Girl, Kenji, Lola, Isabelle, Tia, Matt, Hailey, Roxie, Nera, Beatrice, Coconut, Olive, Jace, Henfrey, Monica, Smudge, Greta, Gabriella (Gabri), Genni, Willow, Licorice, Junior, Foley, Larry, Mr B, and Lily.

Kitten season is well under way at Pet Haven! We currently have three pregnant cats and four new mama cats in foster homes. Remember, reach out to your mentor if you would like to start this journey by following the Steps to Kitten fostering. Kitten season typically begins now and continues into the fall! Our shelter partners will be full, so if you are not currently fostering, please consider bringing a cat into your home this season. 

Just a reminder, the Kitty Condo at Petco in Bloomington is available if you think your foster cat could benefit from a few days of retail exposure. Cats should be healthy and up to date on vaccines. 

One last thing – we are still looking for one more Cat Foster Mentor. If you have fostered with us and want to pass along some of your kitty knowledge to other fosters, please contact me at

If you are currently an approved cat foster, keep your eye on the Foster Needed page and the cat album for felines seeking foster care!



Happy trails and happy tails to Bodi, Memphis, Goldilocks, Roxy, Red nka Lincoln, Percy, Chaffles nka Lexi, Angelina nka Daisy, Broski, Luna Ann, Moe, Luna, Holly, Advent, Diesel, Huck, Duke, and Jada! 

As fosters, when we connect with applicants who are hoping to adopt our foster dogs, we are advocating for our foster dogs and we are representing Pet Haven as a whole. We are adoption applicants’ first and sometimes only touchpoint to Pet Haven. Any applicant, whether or not they adopt a do, could potentially return to adopt another dog, decide to volunteer with us, or become a supporter. Whether or not a family is a fit for our foster, we want to treat everyone with respect and friendliness, communicating promptly under all circumstances. We promise to connect with new applicants within 48 hours of receiving their application so once you receive an application, reach out to the person as soon as possible. Phone calls are the best; you can exchange a lot of good information with an applicant in that first phone call. But if you don’t reach them within a day with a phone call, reach out by email or text. Make every effort to connect. 

Of course, when you receive an application and it isn’t a good fit, email Maren, our Dog Adoption Coordinator, as soon as possible ( She can reach out to the applicant to let them know. At any point in the process, if you discover an applicant isn’t a fit, reach out to Maren immediately. If you’re not certain about an applicant, your Foster Mentor is happy to talk with you and help you evaluate their merits.

If you are currently an approved dog foster, keep your eye on the Foster Needed page and the dog album for dogs seeking foster care!



Open Shed

Note the Cottage Grove satellite location available by contacting Beth Alexander at and 651-238-9878. She has a large selection of special needs products.

Nail trims

Pet Haven and Droolin’ Moose Chocolate Shoppe Sweet Treat FUNdraiser

Do you love chocolate – hello, who doesn’t? Do you want to help buy food for foster cats and dogs? Starting April 12, Pet Haven will be partnering with Droolin’ Moose Chocolate Shoppe on a Sweet Treat FUNdraiser. 30% of all sales will go directly to Pet Haven!

Droolin’ Moose is a family owned and operated business in Bloomington, MN. Their brand is well known and loved. Their 3 stores (Bloomington, St. Louis Park and Burnsville) are incredibly welcoming. They even provide individually packaged free samples. YUM!

The FUNdraiser couldn’t be easier. Participants will have 2 weeks to reach out to friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers, and submit an order. Click here to see the 12-gourmet treat selections and then email your order to After the FUNdraiser ends, orders will be picked up directly from the store and delivered to you or your customers. 

Kitten Shower – Supplies Drive

Kitten Season is starting soon! Kitten and Mom and Baby food is one of our largest expenses. While our partner retailers donate lots to us we rarely get donations for Kitten, Mom and Baby food and we NEED IT! Consider hosting a Kitten Shower Supplies drive or encouraging your network to attend one of the events below! To support our Kitten and Mom needs you can check out our Amazon Wish List here.

Volunteer Happy Hour! 

Join us and connect with Pet Haven Volunteers on Wednesday, April 28 from 6 – 9 p.m. at Union 32 Craft House in Eagan. Your first beverage will be compliments of our Executive Director Kerry and she will be there to meet and say hello to all that choose to come. They have a large outdoor patio area and spacious indoor area to allow for Covid restrictions. Masks worn with the exception of drinking or eating. Click here for more information.

Looking for an easy way to support Pet Haven? 

Become a Target Circle Member and vote for Pet Haven! 

We are honored and excited to announce that Pet Haven has been chosen to participate in a special charitable giving campaign, sponsored and funded by Target. Now through June 30th, if you vote for Pet Haven through the Target Circle you get to help determine how Target’s donations will be divided up.

You must designate the zip code we are being featured in. Target donates funds to Pet Haven based on our votes. View more details here. 



“Giant Paws up to Kerry D’amato for your help in getting my foster kitty back from a not-great situation. You sprung into action with very little notice, put on a brave face, supported me (and Tasha!), and kept your cool while I was having a meltdown. I’m SO grateful for you!”

“Paws up to Emily Peterson for her ideas and willingness to adjust in the Pawgress Report.”

“Paws up to Tierney Winter! She volunteered to drive to and from Alexandria to pick up and deliver some pregnant cats. We couldn’t give these mamas a safe place to give birth if we don’t have volunteers like Tierney!”

“Paws up to Darlene Johnson! She has an an all around great attitude, always checks in with foster dog problems and ‘has your back!'”

“Paws up to Karynn Sebesta for spending hours creating an intake form for new animals coming in, which streamlined our process and made sending intake emails so much easier!! Plus all the amazing over and above work she does for Pet Haven!”

“Paws up to Audra Dunivan for being an amazing support to the cat os team! She’s always doing so much for the animals and is always willing to learn.”

“Paws up to Beth Alexander for taking time out of her weekend to help us get the burrs and mats out of our fosters long hair.”

“Paws up to Xiating Chen! Xiating was SO great with her first foster, Milo, who was quite a challenge both behavior-wise and medically. She handled each obstacle with calmness and resolve and was a great advocate for Milo!”

“Paws up to Kerry D’Amato! I was fostering Dobby and when he came home from getting neutered I knew something was off. Kerry stepped right in, getting in contact with her vet and getting us in to the emergency vet. After he was there we realized that he was going to need ongoing vet care for a while so she stepped in and took over temporary fostering him since she lived closer to a vet. This included waking up every couple of hours to care for Dobby. She also was able to spot his ear hematoma when that happened and get him the assistance he needed. He wouldn’t have made it without her love and support.  We are ever grateful for her helping us with his care!”

The Paws Up winner of the $20 Amazon Gift Card is Xiating Chen!

Have you noticed someone doing something that deserves a Paws Up? Submit your nomination to

The importance of enrichment

Bored Cats? Destructive Behavior? Create an indoor adventure! Take those unused boxes from Amazon and add crumpled up newspaper or tissue paper. Sprinkle catnip in them and throw in some toys hidden around the crumpled paper. Create multiple box “playstations” and watch your cat light up! 

Cats need activity and enrichment. They are smart creatures that get bored easily. Boredom can lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as over eating and over grooming, as well as destructive behavior, such as chewing and over scratching. Ideally cats need a minimum of two 20 min active play sessions with you a day. An indoor adventure is in addition to that play time!