Dogtime salutes Ohio’s Measle’s Animal Haven.
How did your organization get started?
We started in April, 2005. Our director volunteered for an area shelter; she decided that she wanted control over which dogs she would rescue and ensure that the dogs we rescue will be safe for the rest of their natural lives. She believed that just because a dog is a Pit Bull or a senior dog, the dog is still absolutely worthy of being saved.
What is your mission?
Measle’s Animal Haven, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, no-kill rescue comprised of a network of volunteers and foster homes in Central Ohio. We focus on rescuing unwanted/neglected/abused/abandoned Pit Bulls (American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, American Bullies, American Bulldogs, and Pit Bull mixes) and (when possible) senior dogs of all breeds, because these animals have the fewest rescue resources in Ohio and are so deserving of loving homes.
We do not have a shelter facility, so the number of animals we can intake is limited because all of our animals are kept in private foster homes.
Additionally, as an organization, Measle’s Animal Haven is committed to help relieve the suffering of and prevent cruelty to dogs identified as Pit Bulls and mixes through the public dissemination of educational information, provide breed-specific education to the public and individuals, and help reduce the number of homeless Pit Bulls and mixes through the public dissemination of educational information and spaying/neutering/microchipping of owned Pit Bulls. We strive to promote a positive image for Pit Bulls in the community by doing educational seminars and outreach. We also advocate spay/neuter, responsible Pit Bull ownership, and the humane treatment of dogs.
How do most of your animals find their way to you?
We take most of them from the dog pounds and shelters in Central Ohio. Some of them are owner surrenders or strays that we are called to rescue.
What happens to the animals once they are in your care?
All animals are evaluated for health and temperament, and are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped prior to being adopted. We also administer a heartworm test, deworming, flea/tick preventative, heartworm preventative, and any other veterinary care necessary for the health of the animal (including any necessary surgeries or other treatment for injuries).
When necessary, we rehabilitate Pit Bulls and help them learn obedience training prior to facilitating their placement into loving and responsible homes. We also provide permanent sanctuary in loving foster homes for dogs that are deemed unadoptable because of incurable medical or unredeemable behavioral issues.
Tell us about a particularly compelling animal or inspiring rescue.
In June of 2008, our director, Robin Laux, was called about a young female Pit Bull who had shown up on a farm in a rural Ohio county. The dog was incredibly malnourished and terrified of people, especially men. We do not know how she was abused prior to rescue but there is no doubt from her reactions to people that she was tortured by someone.
On the farm she would play with the dogs and other animals and eat with them, but would run when any human approached. The family who owned the farm was concerned about her being killed by area coyotes and tried every conceivable method to “catch” her. But, she was too afraid of people to get close enough. Finally we were able to use a “live trap” to catch her and she was transported to our most experienced foster home. We named her Lilygirl.
The first loving encounter that Lilygirl likely ever had with a human was when our director coaxed her out of the live trap with love when she would not respond to coaxing with food and treats. The process of removing her from the live trap literally took hours and involved our director climbing into the trap with Lily, ascertaining that she was incredibly fearful but not human-aggressive.
At first, even in a loving environment Lily was so scared that she would crawl on her belly to get away from people. After many months of painstaking rehabilitation, Lily bonded with our director and her children. And, after more than a year, she is able to stands tall when she goes out in public and meet men and women. She may never completely be rid of her hesitation around new people and still cringes when a new person approaches her head, but she is a happy and confident dog now. Now, Lily is waiting for the right family to fall in love with her and give her a forever home.