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In Memoriam



Trinity was the last survivor of the basset trio who were taken care of and loved by Ken Neece.  She passed away July 17th, 2017.  She lived at the Haven for roughly 10 years before being adopted into a home.  Her favorite thing was going "bye bye" in the car, riding in the front seat of course, with the AC on high.  She loved to go for walks and loved her fur-siblings though she let them know she was the boss.  She was loved by so very many.


Twiggy first arrived at the Haven ACS in 1999, in a coma from starvation.  She was not expected to survive.  She was able to pull through, with love from the Haven ACS and a couple of cats.  She was adopted in 2003 and passed away on August 5th, 2016 at 17 years young.  She was an adopted sister of Trinity.  The girls had a love-semi-hate relationship with one another as both were very bossy ladies!  Most of the time, though, they enjoyed each other's company. Twiggy was loved beyond words.





Omar & Belinda


Prince had seen it all at the Haven and was an integral part of our family. Dr. Wilbanks made sure his life was sweet until the end, feeding him rotisserie chicken at all hours, and making sure he knew he was loved. She never stopped believing in his willpower and strength to live on.  He almost made it to 17 years and he will be missed by many.


Sunshine was one of the trio of bassets (along with Trinity and Razzo)  that lived in the Basset Barn.  Their caretaker, Ken, passed away a few years ago, and the Basset Barn was erected and named after him.  We lost dear Razzo about three years ago, and this past week, we lost Sunshine.  Sunshine was a sweetheart, and loved everyone and everything (especially food!). She got a lot of love and attention from everyone at the Haven, but especially from one volunteer that especially loves our Bassets...Tommie.  Thank you to everyone who gave Sunshine a great life while at the Haven.  She is greatly missed!


Sweet was a beloved senior dog at the Haven.  She passed in her sleep on Sunday February 22nd, 2015, at the remarkable age of 15 years. She was a clever little girl, who liked to undo the latch on her own pen, and then let all her friends out.  She even pulled this off at the vet a couple weeks ago!  Overall however, she was a very laid back and well-behaved girl. Sweet will be very missed among Haven staff and volunteers.


Unfortunately, Carter was one of those dogs who was destined to be a "lifer" at the Haven.  He came to the Haven at a very young age.  However, due to his distrust of people in general, it was several years before he even trusted someone enough to be walked on a leash or cuddled.  In his later years, he got a lot of love and attention from the volunteers.  He was one of the first occupants of the Retired Canine Bed and Breakfast, and he definitely enjoyed his air conditioned summers and heated winters!  Carter was so incredibly sweet, and lived with a pen mate most of his life.  Sadly, he was always the bridesmaid and never the bride, as his penmates consistently were adopted.  He adjusted well to new friends; however, and always was happy to see anyone who wanted to give him some attention. He was a sweetheart, and we will miss him dearly!

Sarafina & Cher

Sarafina was one of the dogs most of the population would consider "unadoptable".  She was found as a younger dog and it was quickly discovered that she was more or less feral.  Cute as can be, she was scared to death of people.  She spent some time alone in a large pen, simply because that was the pen she wandered in to so that she could be caught.  Finally, with determination and a lot of time one afternoon, some volunteers got her into a crate and into a pen with another dog, Cher.  Cher and Sarafina quickly became best friends, and where one went, the other went.  Sarafina never really warmed up to people, and she was perfectly content to be touched by humans only on vaccination day.  However, she was one of the more popular dogs at the shelter in many people's minds simply due to her story and her friendship with Cher.  She even got to live in the Retired Canine Bed and Breakfast for the last couple years of her life!  Sarafina got a bad start in life, but we like to think that we may have given her some comfort and love (despite whether she thought she wanted it or not).  


Christmas was found by volunteers on the north loop on Christmas Day 2011.  He was old, deaf, and definitely didn't get along with other dogs.  Therefore, his chances for adoption were slim.  No problem here, though!  After our Retired Canine Bed and Breakfast was finished, he was one of the first residents!  Christmas live another wonderful 3 1/2 years at the Haven and got not only air conditioning, heat, and great care but also all the attention an old dog could ask for.  He crossed the Rainbow Bridge on July 5, 2014.  He will be greatly missed, and is buried in our Haven Pet Cemetery along with all of our other wonderful old dogs who have come before him.


Keppler was very sweet dog that was adopted out in 2001 by a great family has recently passed away. The family wanted us to share his sweet memorial that they have written. May he rest in peace.


In August 2001, you graciously allowed us to take Keppler to be a part of our family. Friday morning we said goodbye to Keppler. I had decided to remain in Lubbock to attend Tech Law School. I would start classes in late August. Marissa was living in Dallas; she decided to quit her job and return to Lubbock to be with me while I attended law school. Together we brought Keppler into our relationship.

Marissa struggled to find a job in Lubbock, and I was immersed in law school activities and studying. Marissa and Keppler formed a fast bond, and were great companions in those early months. Keppler and I developed great non-verbal communication; he could walk into a room, look at me, and I knew what he needed -- to go out, a treat, or just him letting me know it was time for me to take a break. For the last 2-3 years I have mostly worked from home. He was a constant companion, whether he was with me while I had morning coffee, resting in front of my desk while I worked, or with me when I had lunch. He developed arthritis in his later years and could no longer go for long walks. He and I started taking "gentlemanly strolls" down our block and back. Along the way he enjoyed seeing the neighbor kids, getting head rubs, or just checking that everything was right.

A few months after he joined our family, we brought home a sister puppy; and few years later there was another sister puppy added. By the time the 3rd puppy came along, Keppler was well into his years. And while the girls had a traditional sister "love-hate" relationship, there was no question Keppler was the boss. The young pup never messed with Keppler, and when he thought she had gotten rowdy enough he would put her in her place.

Keppler was the leader of the pack. And for Marissa and I, he made our living together a family. We are very sad at his passing and will miss him greatly.

Jerry, Marissa, Denali, and Sienna


We lost Ona on June 14th.  She was the kind of dog that was sweet as can be with people but just didn't like other dogs, which sadly was the main reason she spent her life at the Haven.  She had a huge plastic ball in her pen that many people remember her by.  She would spend hours running through her pen, pushing that big ball around!  Ona didn't get to do any public appearances (due to her aggressiveness toward other dogs), but she was one of the dogs featured in our first-ever Haven calendar in 2011.  She got to be "Miss January" as pictured above.  We are very thankful that we can provide a loving place for dogs like Ona to live their lives.  She will definitely be missed!


"When I first started working at the shelter, I was drawn to Queenie and her brother, Prince, almost immediately. And I know I’m not the only one. Queenie had one of those personalities that was very magnetic. She was one of the most pleasant dogs I have ever been around. She just had that something about her that let you know she would do anything to make the people in her life happy and even the vets we took her said the same. It would always make me smile when I would go feed her and she would bounce up and down with excitement. She and Prince arrived at the Haven when they were puppies and that was back in 1999. She and her brother had lived here their entire lives, and were still two of the happiest dogs that lived here. Everyone who came in contact with Queenie fell in love. Prince and all of us who knew her are going to miss her, but we all know she is in a better place on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge."


Francis came to the Haven in 2009.  She was an elderly dog then, and suffered from arthritis.  Over the past couple of years, she got all the love and attention that she probably didn't get previously.  Francis was one that we knew would probably live the rest of her life at the Haven since she didn't like other dogs and wasn't fond of children.  However, she had plenty of love to give to anyone willing to give it!  Frances is now buried in our pet cemetary, along with Riley, Edgar, Ghost, and all of our other departed dogs.


"Riley was a special friend of mine.  Often, when I tell people about my volunteering at the Haven, they say, 'Oh, I couldn't do that! I would want to take them all home.'  Well, you can't obviously, but what you can do is pick a dog or cat (or horse or pig) and make him or her your favorite. I was drawn to Riley from day one.  First of all, as you can see in the photos, he's very handsome.  Second of all, he liked me. That did it. We took walks around the Haven and early on, to Mackenzie Park.  As time went on and my work with cats increased, it was often a short walk then some time in the play yard- off leash and out of a pen is a real treat to any Haven dog. He was always so glad to see me and he never asked me, "where were you yesterday?"  Dogs teach us a lot about making the most of the moment and being glad for what you have now.  Riley was a lifer at the Haven but that's not sad to me. He got medical care, shelter, food and affection and people around him willing to go the extra mile for animals. I miss him and all of the sweet, loving, giving animals I've known and lost,  but the gift is that I had them in my life at all. May Mr. Riley rest in peace. Thanks, Haven staff." -- Karla


We recently lost one of our long-time Haven residents.  His name was Ghost, and he was a very sweet black pit mix.  We really have no idea how old he was, but we know he arrived at the Haven in 1999 and wasn't a puppy then.  Ghost has a very interesting story.  When he arrived at the Haven, he and a "friend" spent several months in the pasture outside the Haven gate.  He was untouchable and had no intention of becoming anyone's buddy.  Finally, we were able to round him up into a pen that he just happened to wander into.  And there he stayed for the next 11 years because no one could catch him to move him.  Fast forward to 2010.  A young girl and her grandpa started coming out to the Haven to spend time with dogs.  For whatever reason, that little girl decided that she was going to be Ghost's friend.  It took her a few weeks, but to everyone's astonishment, she and Ghost were buddies.  She could take him on a leash, pet him, brush him, and give him all the wonderful attention that he missed out on for all those years.  After that, he decided that the rest of us must not be so bad either, and he clearly became one of the volunteer favorites.  He even was featured in our first Haven calendar in 2011!  We were all so glad he could receive so much love and attention for the last couple years of his life.  And it was all thanks to one little 8 year old girl!  Ghost was  fortunate to get to spend a week in his new "condo" in the new Senior Dog Retirement Home and his name tag will be on his cross at his burial place in our pet cemetery.


Belle passed away June 21st, 2012 and has crossed over Rainbow Bridge. Belle came to us starved, very ill, and unable to walk. We were aware from the beginning that she might not survive. But she was stronger than anyone thought and recovered to the point that she could walk around the hospital, lie in the sun on the Haven grounds, and eat chicken, her favorite food. We believe that Belle received more love and attention at the Haven than she probably had in her entire life. We loved her and care for her, and when it was time, we let her go. Thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who helped take care of Belle, and a special thank you to Miss Barbara who helped care for her as well.


Joe Wilbanks

John Whitney

The Haven ACS received a generous donation at the bequest of Mr. John Whitney, who passed away in March of 2011. He will forever be remembered at the Haven for his generosity and concern for animals. The Haven would like to express our sincere thanks to John Whitney and his family for this generous donation. You all will forever be remembered in the work that we continue to do and in the animals lives that we continue to save. 

Rusty Ladd

Ken Neece

Larry Ehresman

It is with much sadness that the Haven ACS reports the loss of a very good friend. Larry Ehresman passed away this week and the animal world will never be the same.  Larry lived at the Haven ACS for several years and devoted his life to speaking for animals that could not speak for themselves.  He loved and took care of our many animals as if each one of them were his very own.  He and his wife, Brenda Stone, were the first couple married at the Haven. Brenda was a volunteer at the Haven where she and Larry met.  They eventually moved to Lubbock and continued their efforts of rescuing animals.  Larry will be greatly missed by his friends here at the Haven, especially our animals.  We thank him for his efforts and will remember him always.

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