43°FFairFull Forecast

Sycamore-area shelter in second year of rescuing Siberian huskies

Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 11:55 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 12:18 a.m. CDT
Player embeded on all DC instances for analytics purposes.
(Danielle Guerra – dguerra@shawmedia.com)
Jameson, a 6-year-old white male husky, pokes his nose into the camera lens after a romp in a kiddie pool on July 16 at Raven's Husky Haven and Rescue in Sycamore. The rescue houses 12 huskies at a time while they train and prepare the dogs to be adopted. Raven's Husky Haven and Rescue has adopted out 66 huskies to homes around the Chicago area.
(Danielle Guerra – dguerra@shawmedia.com)
Kyle Hines, 17, of Kirkland, spends some "luv time" with Fire, a 3-year-old female husky, in the play yard at the Raven's Husky Haven and Rescue facility in Sycamore.

SYCAMORE – Lisa Monge considers Raven’s Husky Haven and Rescue a Match.com for huskies.

“There really is kind of a husky for everybody,” said Monge, manager of Raven’s.

Raven’s Husky Haven and Rescue, at 27779 Five Points Road near Sycamore, has been working to find homes for rescued huskies for about a year and a half now, and Monge is looking forward to helping even more of the dogs in the future.

In the past year and a half, 66 huskies have found homes through the rescue. The rescue serves Illinois shelters and other rescues to bring in Siberian huskies to rehabilitate and train them to get them ready for a good home. Many are strays or were surrendered by their owners.

Raven’s start in January 2013 was inspired by Raven, a Siberian husky rescued by founders Kelly Lambert and Jennifer Soule.

“Raven really embodies what we do here,” Monge said. “She was extremely unloved, and she needed a home desperately. Kelly and Jennifer adopted her and brought her back to good health and good spirit. And now she’s a therapy dog; she’s an agility dog. She definitely just shows what Siberians can do and the great lives they can have after adoption. It’s something that here, we’re striving to do the same.”

Monge lives on the property of the husky haven, and up to 12 dogs can be housed in the renovated pole barn behind her home. Currently, the rescue is mostly funded by the owners, but Monge said there is always a need for donations and the organization is seeking more fundraising opportunities. Monge said looking for more fundraising is her biggest goal for the next year.

“Each time we adopt a husky, it’s like we’re saving two,” Monge said. “Because we get to adopt one out, and we also take in a new husky.”

Monge said volunteers, whether they can help once a week or once a month, are priceless when it comes to helping the rescue function.

Sisters Lauren and Lexie Leffelman of Kirkland volunteer to help with “luv time,” which involves cuddling and providing affection to dogs that may not be accustomed to it. Volunteers document how much affection time is spent with each husky to make sure they are receiving enough attention to make a healthy transformation.

“This is my happy place,” Lauren Leffelman said. “When I started college, I wanted to study nursing. Since I’ve been coming here, it’s taken a 180, and now I want to be in an animal field. This fall I’ll be studying to be a veterinary assistant.”

Monge said the ties to Northern Illinois University’s Huskie mascot have proved helpful for the local rescue.

“It’s been really great to be here in DeKalb/Sycamore, because everybody obviously is attached to the huskies, thanks to NIU,” Monge said. “Being able to bring these dogs to different events and get that kind of love is very exciting for us. It’s one of the reasons why the founders built the rescue here, is to be close to that.”

Monge said although huskies can have high energy levels, they are goofy, loving animals.

“You have to have a sense of humor to have a husky,” she said. “They think they’re hilarious.”

To help

For more information about Raven’s Husky Haven and Rescue, visit ravenshuskyhavenandrescue.org or call 815-508-8007.

Donations needed:

Nature’s Recipe food (grain free)

Soft training treats

Adjustable collars

Slip leads

Puzzle toys

Kongs, other indestructible-type toys

Dog beds

Laundry detergent

Paper towels

Toilet paper


Dish detergent

Plastic bags (all sizes)

Printer ink cartridges for HP Photosmart C4780

Printer paper

File folders

Previous Page|1|2|Next Page

Get breaking and town-specific news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from the Daily Chronicle.

Reader Poll

Do you think DeKalb County needs a marijuana dispensary?