Mending Spirits Animal Rescue Volunteer – Meet Michel Haugh

Local Volunteer-Based Animal Rescue Offers Alternative for Pets In Need

Mending Spirits Animal Shelter volunteer, Michel Haugh with her two dogs, Bernie and Odo.
Mending Spirits Animal Shelter volunteer, Michel Haugh with her two dogs, Bernie and Odo.

With two dogs and one cat of her own, Michel Haugh, of Mankato, knew she couldn’t adopt another pet. At the same time, her love for animals always left her wanting to give a home to animals in need. She found the answer as a pet foster parent with Mending Spirits Animal Rescue.

Mending Spirits

Founded in October of 2013, Mending Spirits is a non-profit, 100 percent foster based animal rescue in Mankato. They welcome animals from all over Minnesota. In times of special need, like the recent hurricanes, they have even welcomed animals from many other parts of the country.

The Mending Spirits team is completely volunteer based. Almost 200 individuals offer their time and services as foster providers, behaviorists, photographers, trainers, groomers, general volunteers, and educators.

Animals come from pounds, abusive situations, high kill facilities, owner surrenders, strays, and puppy mills. They receive the care and treatment they need then the quest begins to match them with well-paired, permanent homes.

The Mending Spirits team is  completely volunteer based. Almost 200 individuals offer their time and services….

New Friends

Mending Spirits Animal Rescue - Rev
Rev is Michel Haugh’s most recent foster dog from Mending Spirits Animal Rescue.

Because her cat doesn’t get along well with other cats, Haugh prefers to foster dogs. Her two children help walk and feed the dogs making it a family affair. Her own dogs, Bernie and Odo, enjoy having other dogs in the home. She and her family have seen a steady stream of foster pets.

One of these was Buddy. “He came to us weighing 60 pounds, which is way over the average weight of a pug mix dog,” Haugh said. When he first arrived, Buddy would pant and be out of breath just from walking around the house. Haugh started feeding Buddy healthy portions and taking him for short walks. After adoption, his permanent family kept up the healthy routine and Buddy is now half the dog he used to be, down from 60 to 33 pounds.

Buddy, Mending Spirits Animal Rescue foster dog
Buddy, one of Michel Haugh’s previous foster dogs from Mending Spirits Animal Rescue, arrived weighing 60 pounds but is now a slim 33 pounds!

Rev is Haugh’s most recent foster dog. A skipper shepherd mix, he was rescued from a situation where he was left to fend for himself. “He’s an amazing dog with gentle, calm eyes. He seemed to sense that he was rescued and now safe,” she said. After many hardships, Rev’s story has a happy ending. He was adopted into his permanent home the day before Thanksgiving.

Isn’t it hard to give up a dog after taking care of him? Haugh says, “Yes! Each dog is unique and special to me.” She gets attached to each pet whether she has the dog for a few days or a few months. Knowing the dog is going to a good, permanent, home is what makes it bearable. She takes a photo of each dog on arrival day and another with the adoptive family. Each set of photos reminds her that she had a part in a great success story!

You Can Help

Mending Spirits has rescued over 1000 pets. Currently, they are caring for over 60 animals including dogs, cats, reptiles, birds, rabbits, ferrets and even a potbellied pig in foster homes. They are funded completely by adoption fees and contributions. Reach out to them at their website if you would like to make a contribution or volunteer. and Mending Spirits are partnering to bring you Adoptable Pet of the Week!