Pet Haven’s Pawgress Report (November 2021)

Pet Haven’s Pawgress Report (November 2021)

Dog Owner Surrender Coordinators **Immediate Important Need** 

The OS/Return Coordinator – This is an important and rewarding role where you truly help people and pets in crisis. The Dog Division is responsible for responding, coordinating, and processing dogs who are surrendered by their owner or returned to Pet Haven. The OS/Return Coordinator reviews and assesses the animal’s veterinary records and surrender form and makes arrangements for the animal to be transferred to Pet Haven. The OS/Return Coordinator works closely with Intake Coordinators to ensure a smooth transition for the animal to Pet Haven’s care.

Estimated time commitment: 5 hours per week

If interested, email Ashley at

Dog Foster Mentor

Foster Mentors provide valuable support and guidance to foster volunteers and their foster dogs. This role is incredibly rewarding as Mentors are the “go-to” person for fosters who are in need of support and advice (including selecting and transferring a foster dog, behavior tips, coordinating transport/supplies help, and assisting with the adoption process). Foster Mentors also work closely with all members of Pet Haven’s Dog Division Team to make recommendations for improvements and provide scheduled communications to Pet Haven fosters.

Estimated time commitment 5 hours per week

If interested please contact Jenny Jurek at

Structured Dog Walker

Pet Haven is committed to helping the animals who are most at risk in shelters around the state, and this is often dogs who have a history of reactivity. These dogs are often insecure and anxious but often confused as “aggressive” when in reality they are just seeking stability and structure in what has been a chaotic life for them thus far. Our foster homes do amazing work providing around the clock care and training to our program animals, and the very important role of structured-walk dog walker gives those amazing foster parents a short break from the workload of taking on a misunderstood pup

If interested please contact Kirsten at

Dog Home Visit Volunteer

Welcome Volunteers are responsible for managing and supporting the Dog Division Foster Coordinator by providing the final step in the foster training and onboarding process. Welcome volunteers provide the “home visit” for new fosters which includes final training steps, signing the foster agreement, and offering a welcome package to new fosters. 

Estimated time commitment 2-3 hours a week

If you are interested in this position please contact Ashley at

Assistant Dog Behavior Support Person

Kirsten Dimmler our new Canine Behaviorist is looking for people interested in learning more about dog behavior and behavior modification training. A basic understanding of dogs and some experience handling them is needed, however she will teach you the tools you need to help support the dogs in our care that need extra help. This would be things as simple as assisting with leash work, basic commands, and place training, to more advanced behavior training as skills progress. If you want to learn more about dogs behavior or already have the skills to support our pups and fosters please consider this very important role.

Time commitment is based on individuals availability

If interested please contact Kirsten Dimmler at

Cat Foster Mentor

Foster Mentors provide valuable support and guidance to foster volunteers and their foster cats. This role is incredibly rewarding as Mentors are the “go-to” person for fosters who are in need of support and advice (including selecting and transferring a foster cat, behavior tips, coordinating transport/supplies help, and assisting with the adoption process). Foster Mentors also work closely with all members of Pet Haven’s Cat Division Team to make recommendations for improvements and provide scheduled communications to Pet Haven fosters.

Estimated time commitment: 5 hours per week

If interested, email Julie at

Cat Bio Volunteer

The adoption team needs help getting bio templates out to cat fosters and assisting them in writing bios, if needed. If you fancy yourself a writer or enjoy marketing and would like to help kitties find forever homes, please consider this fun position.

Estimated time commitment 2 hours a week

If interested please contact Anna at  

Cat Owner Surrender Coordinator

The OS/Return Coordinator – This is an important and rewarding role where you truly help people and pets in crisis. The Cat Division is responsible for responding, coordinating, and processing cats who are surrendered by their owner or returned to Pet Haven. The OS/Return Coordinator reviews and assesses the animal’s veterinary records and surrender form and makes arrangements for the animal to be transferred to Pet Haven. The OS/Return Coordinator works closely with Intake Coordinators to ensure a smooth transition for the animal to Pet Haven’s care.

Estimated time commitment: 5 hours per week

If You are interested in this position please contact Anna at

I am continually proud to be part of this organization and amazed at what we accomplish. I had the honor and pleasure to be on site at the last surrender and wellness clinic of the year at Red Lake Reservation. I was humbled by the dedication of the Pet Haven Volunteers. The support they gave the pets and people of Red Lake left me feeling incredibly energized seeing what we, as a team, can accomplish. My spirits also soared seeing the Red Lake Community committed to improving the lives of the pets in their community. We were gifted with a beautiful warm weekend as we supported the community, the pets in need, laughed over silly situations, calmed and reassured nervous pets, loved on kittens and puppies, and cleaned up a lot of poop! The days were long, starting at 6 AM and ending after 10 PM, however not one complaint was heard and everyone stepped up to do what was needed, when it was needed. I am so grateful for this Pet Haven Community of Family. I urge those of you who have not been to a clinic to consider volunteering. This is an experience that will last in your memories as a life changing moment – for the better!

With our help, 27 dogs and 39 cats were altered at Petfixers in Bemidji, 27 animals were seen for wellness, and 27 animals were surrendered. The ripple effects of this will be long lasting!

As the weather turns, it’s clear winter is on its way. We have been lucky that it has been so warm and nice, but those of us in rescue know what is coming. The cold brings concern over pets (and people) who do not have proper housing or care.This is also the time of the year we see the need greatly increase.  It’s more important than ever to be able to say YES to those who need us most. 

We have seen the rescue landscape in Minnesota change. Due to what was considered in the past as a shortage of dogs, many larger rescues and Humane Societies are bringing up thousands of dogs and some cats from southern states every year, which leaves pets in Minnesota more at risk than ever before. With the increase of adoptions over COVID and the ripple effects of economic stress on many individuals as a result of the COVID crisis, we are now seeing an increase of surrenders, pets left tied up in parks, left in carriers, or behind in homes and apartments after a move or eviction. After speaking with municipal shelters and other rescues, it is agreed that Minnesota has not seen a crisis like this in over a decade. 

As 2021 is in its final stretch and the Holiday Giving Season is here, we need help in getting the word out about what we do, expanding our reach of volunteers and donors, engaging the community to adopt Pet Haven Pets, and joining in events. Check out the “On The Prowl” section below for ideas on ways to help!

As always, we could not do what we do without our vast network of you, our volunteers. I greatly appreciate the thousands of hours donated to this organization. Because of you, we keep administrative costs extremely low enabling us to help more pets in crisis and spend the funds where it is truly needed!! 


Let’s talk vaccines!

What vaccines do our dogs get? They get the core vaccines – Rabies, DHPP, and Bordetella.

What vaccines do our cats get? They get the core vaccines – Rabies and PRC.

DHPP (or DAPP) is a combination vaccine that helps prevent the following viruses in dogs: canine distemper, infectious hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. 

PRC (or FVRCP) is a combination vaccine that helps prevent the following viruses in cats: feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, and feline panleukopenia.

Pet Haven provides the initial DHPP/PRC vaccine but the animal CAN be adopted prior to the booster(s) being due. Kittens and puppies CAN be adopted prior to receiving rabies. It is then the adopter’s responsibility to get the remaining vaccines done and they should be made aware of this. If your foster animal is still with you, our vet team will email you to make an appointment when we get close to the booster(s) being due.

Adult dogs (DHPP) and cats (PRC) without prior vaccines need an initial DHPP/PRC vaccination and a booster. 

  • Initial DHPP/PRC Vaccine
  • One booster 3 – 4 weeks later

Puppies and kittens need an initial DHPP/PRC vaccination and boosters every 3 – 4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. Rabies is given at 16 weeks unless the clinic requires it earlier.

  • Initial DHPP/PRC Vaccine
  • Boosters every 3 – 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age

Adopters may be hesitant about paying for boosters after paying an adoption fee. The cost of an un-vetted cat is much higher than an adoption fee + a booster. Check out the graphic below to see a cost comparison with vet care prices from a lower cost clinic for a free kitten versus a Pet Haven kitten.

*The Pet Haven vet team may approve one DHPP/PRC vaccine without a booster for adults when applicable.

Having a solid cleaning routine for your foster space after your foster finds their home is crucial for continued foster and personal pet health. You want to do a thorough clean of your foster space to limit any disease or parasite transmission to any pets, or even people, who come in contact with that same space. Here is a rundown of how to complete a proper clean on your foster space to prepare it for new fosters!

  • Start by removing everything the pet slept on, ate from, played with, and eliminated in. 
  • Scrub everything the pets could reach (don’t forget the walls) with a bleach/water solution (1/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon water) or Rescue solution if you have access.
  • Mop up any excess on hard floors using a pet-safe cleaner.
  • If the floor is carpeted, vacuum thoroughly using a steam cleaner on stains or areas with soiling.
  • Food and water bowls can be washed in the dishwasher. The heat from the dishwasher will disinfect the bowls. If you don’t have a dishwasher, then soak the bowls in the bleach solution for approximately 10 minutes after scrubbing clean. 
  • Clean the litter box and any reusable toys separately with the bleach solution as well. After give it a good scrub down to remove any debris. 
  • Wash all bedding using bleach and hot water. 
  • Throw away any toys made of cardboard or other non-cleanable materials. 
  • Any upholstered cat trees or furniture in the room should be vacuumed and steam cleaned thoroughly.

This should prevent any new fosters from catching anything that the previous pets contracted and keep everyone safe and healthy.

Adopting out fosters with medical conditions – a topic that gets discussed often in the Pet Haven vetting world! I touched on this a bit in the August Pawgress Report but I thought it would be nice to go over again since it can be a confusing topic.

I want to give a huge shoutout to any of our fosters pawrents that deal with medical issues with their foster animals. You all are amazing at handling medical issues that come up. I’m grateful to work with all of you and am thankful for your patience and dedication. Medical situations can consume a lot of effort and time, and are often stressful! Because of this, it becomes really exciting when your animal is on the mend, feeling better, and gets an adoption application! However, just because the animal is feeling better, does not always mean they are quite ready to go to their forever home.

Our main goal is to send any of our animals into homes with no outstanding medical needs. For example, if an animal has had an ear infection, we would not send the animal into its forever home until all of the ear meds are completed and the ear recheck (if applicable) comes back negative. As a general rule, no animal should go to its forever home while on any medication. This can be a number of things besides ear meds – dewormers, antibiotics, eye meds, steroids, etc. Any medication that has an end date should be finished before the animal leaves your care. If you are ever unsure what the end date of the treatment is, please ask us!

This protocol does change when an animal is on a long-term medication such as a heart medication, allergy medication, anti-anxiety medication, prescription food, etc (anything without an end date). Adopting out an animal while on a long term medication needs to be discussed with the vet team for approval. It is best for us to decide if the animal is stable enough on its current medication regime or if there are other things we need to complete first – additional diagnostics, different combinations of meds, etc. Once approved, we can help come up with the dialogue to put in the animal’s bio and how to address the medical concern with the applicants.

Sometimes animals aren’t on medications but are still not ready for adoption. The main example of this situation would be animals that have had surgery. A standard surgery, such as a spay/neuter procedure, has a general rule of adoption after three full days of recovery as long as the animal is healing well and the adopter agrees to and feels comfortable with ALL post-op instructions. An animal that has had a dental with extractions should wait at least 10 days to make sure their mouths fully heal and they are eating normally. Any specialty surgeries, such as orthopedic, foreign body surgery, heart surgery, etc., MUST be discussed in depth with the vet team and get an official approval for adoption, even if it seems like the animal has recovered fully.

If you are EVER unsure of the status of your foster animal’s health and how it relates to adoption, please reach out to the vet team! We are always more than happy to discuss with you!

Thanks to the work of Pet Haven Treasurer, Jack Novak, and Kerry, Pet Haven submitted its Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 990 form for 2020 to the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office this week. What is a 990? The 990 is a form that nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations use to provide the public with financial information about the organization. The 990 includes information about our programs, mission, and finances. It allows the public to evaluate how we are doing and is an important document that many donors will consider before deciding to give. Completing the 990 is a lot of work, but is necessary to ensure Pet Haven’s tax-exempt status. Thank you, Jack! 

Speaking of finances, as Kerry noted, we are nearing the end of 2021 and our year-end giving push. We have a few upcoming fundraising initiatives and we need your help to spread the word. Check the On the Prowl section below and our Facebook page for more information about the online auction, Give to the Max, and more. 

As always, the Board would love to hear from you. If you have any questions or concerns, let us know by emailing Thank you! – Marcella

Pet Haven featured volunteer of November: Meet Katie Hey!

Katie first discovered Pet Haven and their amazing work in 2018 when she adopted her pup Rocket. Rocket is a special, reactive boy and required a lot of new parent training. Pet Haven’s volunteers were an incredible resource from the first meet and greet and into those challenging months.

In 2020, Katie and her partner Martin decided to pay back some of Pet Haven’s generosity and become fosters. In the first three months, they welcomed three puppies, it was a fun and rewarding experience, and they still have regular contact with the adopters. 

After welcoming a forever sibling for Rocket in September 2020, Katie shifted to the role of Dog Owner Surrender Coordinator. This role provides support and resources for owners and their dogs during times of struggle and transition. The work is hard, requires a lot of patience and empathy, but is very rewarding.  

Katie lives in South Minneapolis with Martin and their pups, Rocket and Ruby. They love to adventure to the North Shore and occasionally further afield in the mountains! 

Pet Haven is currently looking for another Dog Owner Surrender Coordinator. If you are interested in getting more involved as a volunteer, check out the opportunities listed at

Congratulations to the following 59 cats who found their forever homes in October: Sam, Elf, Maple, Ursula, Hubert, Duncan, Rascal, Marceline, Rosie, Amelia, Elsa, Fievel, Kimi, Seela, Wednesday, Winnie, Andrew, Lil Miss Butterfly, Tiger, Wendi, Fire, Pumpkin, Kate, Allen, Fig, Charlie, Chantilly, Daniel, Storm, Calie, Ribbon, Button, Kita, Rumi (nka Rogi), Jill (nka Toni), Anthony, Janny, Ziggy Stardust, Bowie, Zipper, Ethan (nka Ted), Snap, Miss Kitty (nka Nutmeg), Edward (nka Jack), Waikiki, Cheetoh, Taki, Juno, Cricket, Fiona, Magpie, Mariah, Agate (nka Lucy), Luna, Chance, Baby, Scar, Jolene, and Biscuit.

Adoptions that closed out September: Sesame, Cosmo, Nova, Mercedes, Bug, Chui, Shadow, and Astro (nka Salem).

Do you have an old storage bin lying around? As temperatures begin to drop, consider building an outdoor cat shelter to support your local feral and stray communities! There are lots of resources online that walk through the process step by step, but here are some important considerations when building your own cat shelter:

If you are currently fostering and have travel plans during the most wonderful time of the year, remember to submit your requests for respite! It can also be the most stressful time of year, and you don’t need to be traveling to request respite. Healthy and social cats are also encouraged to try out the kitty condos! Reach out to your foster mentor for more information on kitty condos.

It’s that time of year….

We are now entering the time of year when holidays and increased interaction with your foster dog can occur! Alternatively, your foster dog may be left alone in the house more as you are out visiting friends and family. Make sure that you prep your foster dog for additional crate time or alone time! It is ok to work on crate training when you are still in the house. If you think you will have company over, or if your foster dog hasn’t had practice with placework or being crated while people are in the home, brush up on this behavior with them. 

You might find out your foster dog is a counter surfer as you leave out a pie or if you celebrate National Baklava Day (11/17!), a tray of baklava. A smelly candle might be a tempting snack for some dogs. Keep in mind, as you put up decorations, that this is going to be a big environmental change for your foster dog. 

Cabin Fever

As the weather gets colder and days get shorter it can get harder to get outside, keep up with your foster dog’s exercise, and provide that mental and physical stimulation for them. There are LOTS of ways to wear out your foster dog inside and provide enrichment activities for them. Ask your mentor, collaborate in our Facebook group, or check with a reliable online source for good indoor activity options.

  • There is a supply of donated snuffle mats at the St Louis Park shed. They allow a dog to “hunt” for their food and provide some mental stimulation during meal time. 
  • Work on training! If your foster dog is food motivated, set aside 15 minutes to work on some training. This can also involve the whole family! Can your foster dog “stay” while someone else is walking around, or enters the room, or drops a toy (or even a piece of food??) on the ground? Is your foster dog staring at your right hand for a treat during a session? Switch your reward hand to the other hand, or teach them to “Watch me!”. 

Support Pet Haven with a fun night howl!

A portion of the proceeds go to Pet Haven! The website DOG FILM FESTIVALhas a trailer and a list of the short films in the Festival. HERE is the link to the theater website for advance ticket sales.

The Festival is made up of short films (animated, documentary and also narrative movies, with actors) that celebrate the dogs who share our world. The festival is designed for adult audiences but can be enjoyed by all members of the family, including mature children. The films are free of physical or verbal abuse toward people or animals. The only tears you might shed would be tears of joy for happy endings.

  • When? Wednesday, November 10 at 7 p.m.
  • Where? Minneapolis Landmark Theater 

GIVE TO THE MAX on Thursday November 18th, Pet Haven could use your help and it’s EASY!

Give to the Max is Minnesota’s largest giving day of the year. What makes this day so special is that thousands of people step up to give to the charity or cause that is near and dear to them. There is a lot of “buzz” around the event and as a result this buzz makes it not only easier to ask friends and family to support your cause, it is kind of expected. 

This year we have had a huge uptick in the number of foster pets needing very expensive medical care, such as heart valve procedures, orthopedic procedures, costly emergency room ICU stays, removal of forign body procedures, urinary blockages, and the list goes on. As a result our vetting bills are WAY over budget. However, when we are faced with a decision to move forward with expensive care or not, and the pet has a strong chance at full recovery, we must say YES

Please help us keep saying YES! 

We have secured $10,000 in matching grants! I need you to help us match and beyond!

We have over 500 individuals that receive our volunteer newsletter. I am asking that each of you send out the email below to 10 people (or more) and ask for a $20 donation (or whatever they feel comfortable giving). IF we have just a 30% success rate, then our Pet Haven Community would raise $30,000. IF all 500 participated and achieved 100% participation, WE would raise $100,000! 

There is strength in numbers and Minnesota Pets desperately need us right now. Too many larger rescues are bringing in hundreds of pets from out of state every month and leaving Minnesota pets in crisis. Now is the time to help. YOU WILL MAKE A IMPACT. You will save lives.

Here is the link to our GiveMN page Please share

A sample email communication you can send out is below:

Dear Friends and Family,

I support a nonprofit organization called Pet Haven. Pet Haven is Minnesota’s first foster based rescue organization in Minnesota established in 1952 and paved the way for all the others. The past year has been a challenging year on the pet rescue landscape in Minnesota.The need of pets in crisis to have a safe place to land has increased dramatically. Pet Haven is seeing more and more pets that need emergency medical care and more owners in crisis needing a safe place for their pet to land than ever before. At Pet Haven once a pet is accepted into their Foster Program they are family. They are committed to addressing their physical and behavioral health needs regardless of cost or length of time it takes to find them a forever home. At Pet Haven all life is valued. During this holiday giving season, I am asking you to consider a gift to Pet Haven. The pets they save and people they help will be greatly impacted by your gift. 

Thank you for your consideration and support!

During Give to the Max your gift will be matched up to $10,000! Gifts can be given directly to the website or the Give to the Max page and all gifts will go to the matching grant!


On November 25th, Pet Haven launches Shop 4 Paws! This will be the second year of hosting an online auction. In 2020, we raised $7,000 and this year our goal is $25,000!

  • Do you have an item to donate to the auction? We’re on the prowl for gifts that retail for $50 or more! Gift certificates, “experiences”, art, crafts, etc… all are welcome!
  • Are you interested in volunteering to help us reach our goal? 
  • Do you have a suggestion for an item? We’ll reach out to the business if you share your ideas!

For more information, to volunteer, or to coordinate a donation, please email

Read more about the auction here:

Open Shed

Tip #1 – Pumpkin is not just a seasonal treat, but a great way to help get your cat or dog’s digestion back on track! If noticing loose stool or constipation, consider mixing canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix, which has added sugar, milk and spices) in their food. Canned pumpkin also helps with constipation. It is a natural “regulator” and pets like it!

Tip #2 – Thanksgiving treats…..Please watch those bones and other risky food items! The holiday season brings celebration and wonderful foods that we wouldn’t normally have out and about. This can be so tempting for cats and dogs to “grab and go”. Please be mindful of food items that are dangerous to them such as brittle turkey bones or chocolate. To keep your pet safe watch where food is placed or put your pups and kitties away in their own room. 

Tip #3 – As the weather cools be sure to check car engines for stray cats that often crawl up into the engine for a warm place to sleep. One of our own Pet Haven Foster pets – Henry Ford- adopted by foster Kayla Riley came to us this way! A quick bang on the hood should wake up any visiting furry and save a life! Read about Henry Ford and his adventure here!