Local animal shelter receives national recognition - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Local animal shelter receives national recognition

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - An Inland Northwest animal shelter received part of a $25,000 reward last weekend after being voted one of the top 10 animal shelters in the country.

Heath's Haven of Hauser, Idaho ranked seventh on the top 10 list compiled by the Tractor Supply Company.  

"Speechless, incredible to even make it into the top 10," Shawn Heath said. Shawn and his wife Jolene started their back in 2010, and ever since then they've been running it out of their home with one specific goal: 

"We specialize in dogs that are paralyzed in the hind end or have neurological conditions or severe medical needs," Jolene Heath said.  Jolene said she and her husband always wanted to open up a shelter for dogs, but it was when Jolene began work as veterinarian that the she realized the shelter she'd always wanted would change focus. 

"Once I started working for the vets office we were realizing dogs were being euthanized just due to finances and special needs," Jolene said. 

Now, through the help of donations, the couple takes in dogs that would otherwise be euthanized, pays for their surgery, and puts them through rehabilitation. 

Landing the number seven spot on the "Rescue Your Rescue" contest, the couple received $800, which they plan on putting toward building a bigger facility that would allow them to take more dogs in and hire much needed volunteers. 

"There's not a lot of awareness out there for special needs dogs," Shawn said. "So that's one of our key missions for rescue is to raise awareness that they can live healthy, long lives." 

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