December 29, 2017

From Bulgaria to Canada

Posted in Haven Blog tagged , , , , at 5:15 pm by havenoftheheart

Back in September of last year, we sponsored the transport of two abandoned orphan puppies from Bulgaria. Their mother, a stray in the streets of Varna, was horrifically killed by a car. You can revisit the puppies’ rescue and their journey here.

Ursula Hello

Arrived at the Haven after a long flight

Moni and Dani spent their childhood at the Haven, learning to socialize with both people and other dogs. Here they grew up to be a pair of handsome boys, healthy and happy, as they were destined to be. Watch this video of Moni and Dani playing in the Haven.

Finally this summer, they both found their forever loving homes. Moni and his best buddy Jax are inseparable at home, he enjoys swimming and loves to play with other dogs that he meets in his walks.

Moni Jax2

Moni in his new home with his new bff Jax


Dani is adjusting well with his new family who are thrilled to have him.  He loves to chase ball, frisbee and sometimes his two human brothers in their big backyard. How fun is that?


Dani resting after chasing his human brothers around

I write this with tears in my eyes, and count my every blessing that fate came through so wonderfully well for these two little waifs.

– Ursula



December 21, 2017

Twelve Days of Haven

Posted in Haven Blog tagged , , , , , , , at 11:41 am by havenoftheheart

To all our supporters and animal lovers, the critters at Haven of the Heart wish you  happy holidays and a new year filled with love and joy!

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On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

  • 12 Critters Waiting
  • 11 Horses Nagging
  • 10 Vet Bills Piling
  •   9 Duckies Laying
  •   8 Puppies Pooping
  •   7 Billies Butting
  •   6 Cows a-Mooing
  •   5 Furry Tails
  •   4 Calling Birds
  •   3 Wooless Sheep
  •   2 Best Friends
  •   And a Slimy Chewed Up Ball!



August 11, 2017

Here We Goat Again

Posted in Haven Blog tagged , , , at 9:17 am by havenoftheheart

The Haven’s tribe of goats comes in all shapes, sizes and personalities. Take Rudy for instance, he is half dog half needy-child. While others usually stare (to see if I am with food), Rudy follows me like a dog, often leans on my leg if I stop. When the food truck arrives, and by food truck I mean the hay wagon, Rudy is often the first to strut his mountain goat superpower, leaps on top to claim his conquest (of what I do not know).

Our goats were mostly rescues from being slaughtered, we took them in even when the Haven struggled with over-capacity caring for abandoned and abused animals.

We thank you for your continued support in keeping our animals safe and well-fed, your generosity is what keeps the hay wagon coming and ensures Rudy a place high up in the bales.

Like they say, when the goating gets tough, the goats keep eating! 

Blessings, Ursula


Rudy – Hay Inspector


Rudy Hay Inspector


Stares – Where is George Clooney?





The tree doesn’t stand a chance

June 23, 2017

A Perfect Send-Off

Posted in Haven Blog tagged , , , , , at 10:18 am by havenoftheheart

Norman was a majestic show jumper that got injured and was retired. He spent 5 years as a ‘riding for the disabled’ horse but unfortunately he became totally lame and was to be put down, at which point I took him on and brought him to the Haven. That was 7 years ago.

In happened one faithful night on June 20, Norman was fine until he decided to roll as he always did, but as he pushed off with his hind legs to stand up, his stifle joint and patella ruptured so once standing he was unable to move. Unable to walk to the barn with his friends for his dinner, we brought dinner to him which included a dozen carrots, three scoops of senior grain, a large bucket of soaked Timothy Alfalfa cubes and two flakes of hay, not to mention the two apples since this would be his last meal.

By the time the vet arrived it was about to get dark and I asked her to give him a strong dose of pain med. Dear Norman was so thoroughly enjoying his food that I did not want to interrupt his pleasure. I asked Dr. Mulder the veterinarian if she would mind waiting until he finished his meal. Two hours of steady munching he was still working away at his ration. It was now approaching 11 p.m. and we knew a final decision had to be made, but not before I drove back down to the barn to bring bales of soft bedding so that he might land softly once the deed was done. Some pre-euthanasia sedation. Norman still nibbling away. Some more sedation but his appetite continued. As midnight drew near a catheter was put into his vein. A series of 60 ml syringes filled with pentobarbital were neatly placed side by side. As I stroked his forehead and kissed his eyes and nose he nudged into me as though he couldn’t get close enough when suddenly he went limp and sat back to drop gently onto the bedding prepared for him.

It was a perfect ending to a perfect retirement for one of the most noble beings I had ever known.

I was very lucky that the vet who arrived was patient, kind and caring. I knew that euthanasia was the only option for poor Norman, while many people just want to get on with the job and get it over with, I felt that Norman had a right to live his death as peacefully and calmly as possible. He too had to resign himself to the inevitable and wind up his life with tranquility and pleasure in a world where he knew he was loved.

So Dr. Amanda Mulder waited patiently, reassuring me that there was no alternative outcome. She treated Norman with the utmost respect and kindness and delivered a smooth painless death with dignity. For that I am truly grateful.

– Ursula


Norman had always loved his food


Norman and Quincy – Best Friends Forever


A video of Norman is on Facebook.

April 16, 2017

Munchkin Matters

Posted in Haven Blog at 5:04 pm by havenoftheheart

A few months ago I took in a kitten that nobody wanted, what else is new?

I named her Munchkin because she was born small and deformed. She has tiny Bassett hound-like legs like a dwarf, but most serious of all, she was born with facial bone deformity. Due to malformation of the facial bone, she could not eat properly and her right eye was forced shut, so technically she was blind in one eye.  In order for her to lead a normal life, she would need facial reconstruction. That was when my “Ursula’s logic” kicked in, of course Munchkin was going to get her operation, even if it drained our struggling budget. Her challenges became my challenges. Munchkin matters!

A highly-skilled veterinary surgeon performed the reconstruction surgery, during which her jaw had to be cut, saliva and tear duct glands had to be relocated. Gold plates were inserted to form eye socket.  It was a highly specialized procedure that was costly but worthwhile.  As you can see from the pre- and post-surgery photos (warning: graphic images), the surgery deemed a huge success.

I hope you share my logic in helping animals, I am very grateful for your well wishes and financial support, your donation is much appreciated.  Munchkin may be small in stature but her will to live towers over all adversities. When Munchkin says she matters, we should all listen. Just look at her now!

“Because they exist they have value and deserve to be here.” ~ Ursula Hart

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