Pet Haven’s Pawgress Report (October 2021)

Pet Haven’s Pawgress Report (October 2021)

Events Coordinator

  • Lead Events Operations from planning to promotion to execution.
  • Continuously open to suggestions from volunteers and brainstorming new locations/events ideas for Pet Haven fundraising out into the community.
  • Ensure each scheduled event has adequate volunteer staffing.
  • Be the face of Pet Haven to interested event partners, including completing any follow up communication.

Estimated time commitment: 5-8 hours per month

We are looking for multiple additional coordinators for this role. If you have any questions about the role, or would like to be considered, email Lauren Rauchwarter, Volunteer Coordinator at!

Dog Owner Surrender Coordinators

The OS Coordinator- Dog Division is responsible for responding, coordinating, and processing dogs who are surrendered by their owner or returned to Pet Haven. The OS 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 and the Dog Adoption Coordinator to ensure a smooth transition for the animal to Pet Haven’s care.

Estimated time commitment: 5 hours per week

There is a lot of good news at Pet Haven. We are approaching our 70th year in operation and are closer to securing a physical home for Pet Haven! I will continue to update you on the progress. Having physical space will be a game changer for us and we will be able to offer you and the community more services. We will have a place to build our Pet Haven volunteer community and get to know each other better. We will be able to have a place to gather for events and volunteer training, as well as do onsite intake, wellness checks, training and behavior support, and have supplies available during operating times. This will make getting supplies so much easier. No more cold shed days!

We will also be able to help the community by offering microchip clinics, basic wellness education and care, behavioral support, and community outreach.I am incredibly excited. Having a home will help us cultivate a stronger community and do more good. Pet Haven is growing and I am so thrilled you are growing with us!

Having a physical space will also help us address the needs we are seeing currently. The animal welfare landscape is changing and we are seeing those changes here at Pet Haven. Covid’s ripple effects are being seen across the state. While we saw a phenomenal uptick in adoptions during COVID, we are now seeing a dramatic increase in the number of pets needing help. Shelters are having pets surrendered at an alarming rate. Some are due to people not being fully equipped for pet ownership. Now that lifestyles are changing many pets are not prepared for these changes and naturally experiencing anxiety. Unfortunately, many people are not willing or equipped to work through these challenges with their pet. Other surrenders are people in a true crisis, losing housing, illness, and other real life challenges. These situations are heartbreaking and we are trying to help as much as we can. 

The industry is also seeing more unwanted litters and pregnant dogs and cats than we have seen in years, due to the spay/neuter halt in 2020. Tribal Nation Reservations are in a real crisis and greatly need our help. Many shelters have had to put holds on intake due to being full. Some shelters that have not had to make difficult decisions in years, are now having to. Our owner surrender team has been overwhelmed with requests for help. The bottom line is it’s incredibly busy and very stressful to be in the animal welfare rescue industry right now. If you have not fostered in a while, or you are thinking of signing up to foster, now is the time. WE NEED YOU!

Our team at Pet Haven sees a lot of animals in crisis and people in distress on a daily basis. This is hard and heartbreaking. It is also very stressful and can be incredibly difficult. Being exposed to crises every day can become overwhelming. I am watching our team closely and encouraging breaks when I see they are needed. Our team is so valuable and key to our success. I need to support them and all of you to ensure we stay healthy in a challenging time. 

We are working very hard to bring the best service and care to the pets and people we help, internally at Pet Haven and externally in the community. As Pet Haven volunteers and family members, I ask that you take a moment to think about how challenging and emotionally taxing it can be on the team. Please be patient and gentle. Remember there is a human at the other end of the email and sometimes it’s hard to be a human. I ask for your support and understanding that we are working as hard as we can and doing the best we can during difficult times. 

Thank you for your support and understanding. Thank you for all you give to the Pet Haven family. I deeply appreciate you and we could not do what we do and save as many as we save without all of YOU! 

It’s been a few months since we’ve officially become a “pack of 4” with four full-time staff members on board for the first time ever at Pet Haven. With the addition of the programs position, we decided to split the different departments under operations and programs management. We have discovered that this split isn’t allowing for as much productivity as there could be without switching between species. We also want to play to our staff members’ strengths which will only make the organization stronger. So, we are going to move to a different structure. I will continue to be the Operations Manager with a canine specialty and Anna will continue to be the Programs Manager with a feline specialty. All canine or feline related questions or concerns throughout any department (intake, supplies, fostering, etc.) will go up the chain of command and either go to me (dogs) or Anna (cats). I will still be overseeing operational aspects especially with a new office space on the horizon and Anna will still be overseeing new program development. We will be working together and will pull each other in as needed.

With 4 staff members and many dedicated volunteers, sometimes it’s hard to know who the heck does what and where to go with questions. So I have made this handy dandy infographic to help and am also including our organizational chart as it stands right now. Please note, the org chart is condensed so the infographic is a bit easier to understand when it comes to who to go to.

Link to organizational chart

Many of the animals that need the most help right now are in desperate need of training and behavior rehabilitation. That is why we at Pet Haven have been striving to create a well rounded cat and dog behavior support program, to help all of you successfully help those who need us the most. 

We have on-boarded a wonderful volunteer, Kirsten Dimmler, who has years of canine behavior expertise, to head up our dog training program as our Training and Behavior Coordinator. She is very well versed in canine anxiety and reactivity, and will be a wonderful resource to those fosters who see behavior issues with their dogs. You can reach out to her at and she will assist in getting to the root of issues, giving helpful advice, tips and tricks, and helping your foster pup get on the path to success.

We also offer robust cat behavior support, with both myself and Kerry being cat behavior experts, we can help offer a wide range of support, tips and tricks. Whether your foster is experiencing litter box issues, overstimulation, boredom, anxiety, or aggression, we can have an in depth conversation to develop a behavior modification plan and get your feline the support they need to thrive.

Our number one goal is to set fosters and their pets up for success, for this reason, we highly recommend speaking with a member on the behavior team before taking in a foster who has known behavior issues. We want to be sure you are prepared for their specific needs, know what to expect going in, and have a plan for how to handle them best in your home. We want to provide all the support you may need to have a successful and rewarding foster experience.

You might have noticed quite a few posts going around discussing medical cases that have been happening within Pet Haven lately. We have had a lot of special animals that have needed additional medical support and I know we have so many people’s support and concern in these situations.

I wanted to highlight one of these special cases, specifically, and give a little update for those who are curious about our girl, Royalty. You may remember seeing a post on Facebook telling everyone about her heart condition, which is called valvular pulmonic stenosis and is a congenital abnormality. This essentially means that one of the valves of her heart was not formed correctly and was not letting the correct amount of blood flow from her heart to her lungs without working extremely hard. While working overtime, the right side of her heart became thickened and damaged, and because of this fluid had been building up in her chest, causing breathing difficulties and even causing her to collapse.

Royalty went into surgery to repair the abnormal valve on September 23. This procedure is called a balloon valvuloplasty. Her surgery went great, the surgery team even said they saw the most improvement with her heart immediately after the surgery than they’ve ever seen before! The valve was repaired and blood was adequately flowing to the lungs. However, the right side of her heart was and is still damaged. By taking the pressure off with the valve repair, the right side of her heart will have to work less hard and the specialists are optimistic that some or all of the damage will reverse. What we don’t know is how long this will take. Royalty has had to have two chest taps to remove the fluid in her chest since her surgery, one of them being in the middle of the night as an emergency visit, and has been on a constant regime of medications that her cardiologist is switching and tweaking depending on how Royalty is responding day by day. These medications are helping her heart rest so it can heal itself eventually.

Her foster mom is phenomenal at watching for changes, good or bad, and alerting me and the team at the U so we are all on the same page while we give her time to get better. The most recent change we’ve seen is an increase in her energy and appetite, both of which were declining dramatically before her surgery. She has started playing with her toys, jumping around and acting like a puppy and smothering her foster mom in kisses. She is on activity restrictions but wants to get up and go way more than she did prior to surgery.  When she went to the U for her recheck, the staff said she looked and acted like a totally different dog – so much healthier and happier.

Royalty still has a long road ahead of her and it’s unclear exactly what that will look like. With help from her cardiology team and a little love and time, I know we can get this girl to the life she deserves.  Thanks to everyone for their concern and support of Royalty so far – please continue to send her good vibes and keep her in your thoughts!

The Board’s October meeting was held this past weekend. At the meeting, Anna provided an update on all the great work she is doing as our new Programs Manager. Jack Novak, Pet Haven’s Treasurer provided us with a financial update as well. The good news is that individual donations are up significantly over last year, and even with increasing vet expenses and slightly lower adoption revenue compared to last year, Pet Haven is on solid financial footing. 

We are now in the fourth quarter with major fundraising initiatives, including our online auction and Give to the Max, approaching. We want to ensure strong Q4 fundraising so we can end the year in a healthy financial state. To help with that, one area the Board focuses on is ensuring that Pet Haven is an attractive organization for potential donors. Charity Navigator is an organization that rates non-profit organizations and many people rely on its rankings when making decisions to give. Board Member Monika McDole-Russell (thank you, Monika!) investigated how Pet Haven could be listed with Charity Navigator. We’ve learned that Pet Haven is not large enough – yet. One of the requirements is that the charity must have generated at least $1 million in revenue for two consecutive years. But, thanks to Kerry’s work, Pet Haven has achieved another accolade that may be of interest to potential donors. Pet Haven has achieved Guidestar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency for 2021, the second year in a row.  

The Board also spent time discussing the online auction that will launch on November 25 (thank you Kate Mudge and Jen Sposeto for leading the charge). We are still looking for items and other help for the auction. If you have any great ideas for unique items or experiences, or if you want to help, we want to hear from you! Please email

Finally, just a note to share that Drew Coursin has made a difficult decision to step down from the Pet Haven Board for personal reasons. We thank Drew for his service and wish him all the best.

Pet Haven featured volunteer of October: Meet Beth Alexander! 

Beth started volunteering with Pet Haven in 2013 by fostering puppies. After she lost her Golden Retriever, her Boxer was lonely so she thought it was a great way to make her Boxer happy until she was ready for another pup. She didn’t plan on adopting another puppy for a while but then came her 3rd foster pup. A 3-month-old terrified, malnourished Shepherd mix. They had a special bond right away and after a series of events that couldn’t be ignored Beth realized he was her heart dog and she adopted him. When her sixth foster puppy came, a 3-month-old Staffie mix, she found that she couldn’t let her go either. She took a break from fostering and became a foster mentor to help other fosters with advice and resources for their foster dogs. She’s still a mentor and back to fostering puppies which she loves. 

 She lives in Cottage Grove with her husband and since her kids are grown and moved out she turned a bedroom into a puppy room and a room in her basement into a supply shed for rescue supplies. 

She recently co-founded an organization called Lost K9 where her team helps owners find, catch and trap their lost dogs when needed. She also enjoys volunteering up on the Red Lake Reservation when they hold wellness animal clinics. She’s the “groomer” there and shaves the matted dogs. When she’s not volunteering she loves spending time at her cabin and being with her two kids. 

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

Congratulations to the following 40 cats who found their forever homes in September: Sherman, Storm, Sky, Ocean, Stella, Luna, Frangipane (nka Bluebell), River, Indy, Mr. Business, Louie, Fred, Max, Leo, Hermione, Ron, Dude, Patches, Nala, Tigger, Gabriel, Mousa, Bill, Gary, Jasmine, Creamsicle, Sherbet, Teller, Pinkie, Markie, Liam, Greta, Hudson, Lizzy, Thor, Kody, Morticia, Alhana, Ella, and Tasselhoff (nka Loki). 

We are still looking for another Cat Foster Mentor. If you are interested in sharing your cat knowledge and expertise with others, please let me know. This position is open to anyone who has fostered with Pet Haven, has basic knowledge of feline behavior and health, and who enjoys communication, collaboration, and CATS! Please contact me at if you are interested in this volunteer role.

September was another great month for Pet Haven foster dogs! We welcomed Willy, Ruby, Boba, Goku, Bear, Jack, Mocho Jo, Rory, and Choppa to foster homes! As new dogs arrived, a lot of our foster dogs and puppies found their new families. Huge thank you’s to foster homes who helped Hunter, Sadie, Ava/Ellie, Luna, Rosie, Appa, Trooper, Oliver/Kirby. Marge/Tori, Lucy, Cinder/Violet, Louie, Chanel, Camo/Dirt, Kaylee, Obi, Doris, and Florence all find their families!

Heads up for open fosters: There is a Red Lake Rosie’s clinic on 10/15 – 10/17. If you are thinking you would like a foster dog from this clinic, let your foster mentor know! Pet Haven volunteers will be helping at this clinic and can help do testing and send photos to anyone interested.

Keep in mind: As the weather gets colder, we do have doggy daycare options to help keep your foster dogs’ energy levels at bay. Be sure to work with your foster mentor to schedule doggy day care or a foster friend to come by and walk your foster dog! 

Preventative reminder! Make sure that your foster dog received their September 2021 preventative. We send both heartworm and flea/tick preventative. If you did not receive anything in the mail, email and cc your foster mentor. 

Supplies: We have a ton of dog clothes, coats, and costumes. If your foster dog may appreciate some warm sweaters, we have those at the supply shed in St. Louis Park. Check out the Open Shed dates on the Pet Haven Volunteers facebook page. We also had over 20 snuffle mats donated – this is great mental exercise for your foster dog as they “hunt” for their food. Grab one before they go!


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!

Link to blog post on our website:

Wine and Whiskers at the Vine Room

Join Pet Haven at The Vine Room for wine flights and soft furry friends. Pet Haven is the selected charity of the month at The Vine Room. We will be kicking off the month on Saturday, Oct 16th. Proceeds from purchases will go to Pet Haven. Enjoy wine and support our Pet Haven Pets! What could be better?

Celebrate DOGS with Pet Haven and Royal Pet 

Build your fundraising walk teams now. The walk will start with Doga-yoga with your dogs at Royal Pet in Hastings. We will then walk to Spiral Brewery where dogs are welcome! Prizes for top fundraisers will be awarded at the Brewery. Look for an email coming soon with more information on how to register to walk and create or join a team. 

NYC Cat Film Festival

A fun night out to celebrate all that is cat and support the rescued cats at Pet Haven. 10% of all ticket sales will go to Pet Haven’s rescued cats.

Nail Trims

Is your pet clicking and clacking while they walk? It’s time for a nail trim! Pet Haven Nail Trim Experts will be available to trim your pets’ nails – cats, dogs, rabbits, and guinea pigs are welcome.

Open Shed

Be sure to share with dog adopters the “rule of 3s”

Be sure to share with cat adopters these guidelines on adjusting: