haven |ˈhāvən|, noun: a place of safety or refuge : a haven for wildlife.

Masthaven Mastiff Sanctuary believes that safety for their favorite giant breed dogs is a personal dedication that requires your full self. That’s why this rescue began–to give refuge and solace the full dog; their mind, body and soul and the people of Masthaven Mastiff Sanctuary commit themselves likewise. Read more about this Indiana rescue in BestBullySticks Rescue Spotlight on Masthaven Mastiff Sanctuary. 

When & Why did you start?
We have worked in rescue in one way or another for a very long time. We officially created our own Non-Profit Mastiff Sanctuary in Jan 2011 when we were searching for a fawn Mastiff to adopt. I had subscribed to many rescues and shelter feeds and made many great contacts. But we were flooded daily by neglected and abused Mastiffs and realized there was no centrally located rescue in our area for these Gentle Giants and as most people in our area were looking for small dogs, the Giants waiting in shelters were very hard to place and there was no where for them to go. As we continued to get notifications, we soon began coving our entire Tri-State of Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois and now network, rescue & place Mastiffs from Indiana and all surrounding states.

What’s different about your rescue?
Our goals remain the same as any other rescue out there. Its all about saving innocent lives and finding wonderful loving homes for these big kids. People tell me that what makes us different is our personal bond and attachment to each one. We love them and mend their spirit and we stay involved for the rest of their lives. We have an open door policy that encourages new families to reach out for questions and assistance and we have been known to babysit when the family has to be out of town. We keep our numbers small enough so that we can give personalized attention to each unique Mastiff and we do not kennel here, so each one truly feels at home. It is always the Mastiff that sets the pace. They tell us when they are ready to adopt a forever family and we do not rush that. We are also very conscious of their sensitivity to change so we personally transport each of our babies and stay in that area to ensure their transition to the new home. Our last adoption took us to Louisiana which under normal circumstances would be too far, however when a Mastiff says that’s his or her perfect home, we listen. They haven’ t led us wrong yet! 

What is the greatest success story or “win” that your rescue has had?
Each Mastiff has been a blessing for us and each has had something unique to teach us. In particular there have been a couple who stand out as Masthaven Miracle babies. We got a call from an Indiana Shelter 4 hours north of us about a severely emaciated and sick baby boy whom they were calling Carter as he was found on Carter Street. We immediately arranged transport for Carter (now Dax) and nearly lost him to severe respiratory distress. Dax’s physical condition also led to lasting damage to his back hips and we were not sure how the severe muscle loss would affect him permanently. Dax still has difficulties with control of his gait, but when his perfect family came to see him and we saw the immediate bond, we knew Dax had chosen his forever family. Now Dax helps to foster other shelter dogs and comes to spend time with us at the Sanctuary every now and then. Dax was 72.4 lbs when he came to the Sanctuary and now is a happy and healthy 160 lbs. This is Dax then and now.

We got the Call for a Mastiff they were calling Friday from another Northern Indiana Shelter. Friday was severely emaciated and was marked in need of urgent Veterinary care. We immediately contacted a kind gentleman in that area to see if he could transport him to us as soon as possible and when he arrived we went straight to the Vet. Friday (now Dezzy) was 106 lbs (should have weighed 200 lbs easily) and in full congestive heart failure. We were not sure he would make it and he had clearly given up. He had been treated horribly and we fought hard to give him the will to live. Slow and steady he picked up much needed weight and with the help of massive amounts of medication, we got rid of all that nasty fluid around his heart and lungs. He got stronger every day and is now off all medications and up to a healthier 140 lbs. His will to live is why we wanted to honor him in the Saved Smiles Contest. His newfound smile is absolutely priceless to us! He is still in search of his forever family. This is Dezzy then and now.

 What’s the most rewarding thing about working at your rescue?
There are so many rewards about Mastiff rescue. The most important reward for us is to see where these kids came from and to see them happy and loved in their forever home.  Masthaven Parents become the closest of friends and we receive constant updates on every Mastiff we have placed. There’s nothing like the feeling of seeing a family become whole with the Love of a Mastiff in their home. Each one deserves the best and we aim to ensure they have that for the rest of their lives.

What can people do to help your rescue?
There are so many Mastiffs out there in Shelters, at the end of chains, abused and simply ignored. While our non-profit primarily focuses on at risk and senior Mastiffs in Shelters, we work with any entity public or private. We gladly network Mastiffs needing a new home and advocate for animal rights for ones being neglected & abused. But we can’t do any of this alone. We always need support through sharing our posts on our Masthaven Facebook page at www.facebook.com/masthaven so that we can reach more people. We need reliable foster homes so that we can help save more from euthanasia in shelters when space becomes an issue. We need supplies of food and items that each of these kids need and these can be found on our Amazon wish list at http://amzn.com/w/O297FNRJ6KE6 or food orders from our supplier at http://www.rescuemix.com/ and lastly we are always in need of Funding for vetting and medications as these babies vetting costs are typically 3 times as much as a small dog. Donations can be made via credit card or debit to our Paypal at masthavenmastiff@gmail.com.

Thank you the Masthaven Mastiff Sanctuary and all the hard work they do! 

To read more inspiring dog rescue stories and see amazing dog transformation photos, visit our Rescue Spotlight category on the BBS Blog.

You can donate bully sticks directly to the shelter of your choice. See our special Charity Packages of all natural bully sticks and ship directly to your favorite Shelter Dogs! You can also take advantage of BestBullySticks 1 Dollar Donation Program where we match all contributions at the end of the month and donate to an animal organization.