HALO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the survival and care of Havanese dogs. Our goal is to save one Havanese at a time. Since we were formed in 2002, we have rescued 1300 Havanese. 

Most of our rescues are from puppy mills with a small number coming from animal shelters or owner surrenders. Many of the mill dogs we rescue are about to be euthanized because they are no longer considered "profitable" by the puppy mill – a 7-month old puppy is too old to sell at a pet store; a 9-year old female is no longer producing large enough litters; or there are health issues that would cost money to treat. 

As long as there is a foster home available, we rescue every single Havanese we can. We ensure they receive any medical treatment necessary and we carefully choose adopters based on the best fit for each individual Havanese. Until they are adopted, no matter how long that takes, our fosters help them adjust to a new life of freedom. We are determined that the life they lead after rescue will be a safe, healthy and happy one.

The resilience of this breed and their ability, no matter their age, to move beyond the horrors of life in a mill to become loving, happy family pets is truly amazing. Our work will continue until laws are changed to ban puppy mills throughout the country.



HALO Rescue
P.O. Box 787
Huntley, IL. 60142

What do fosters do?
Our fosters perform a vital role. They are the ones that take in rescues who have just been freed from a puppy mill. They work to teach the dogs to trust people, and to become comfortable with life in a home. During the time our fosters have the dogs, they pay close attention to each dog’s personality so that we can determine the type of home each dog needs, and find one that is the right fit for each of them.

Does it matter where I live to adopt from HALO? 
No. We have HALO adopters across the entire country and in Canada. We will interview you by telephone. We have volunteers who can do home visits in most parts of the country. If you are approved for adoption, you will have to travel to where the dog is being fostered to complete the adoption. We never ship dogs. It is important for you to see your new dog in the place where he/she is most comfortable so that you know what to expect. 

Why do you charge adoption fees? 
Because we are a non-profit, our adoption fees are our primary source of funding and allow us to rescue other dogs. We are proud to provide high-quality vet care for all our rescues and the adoption fees enable us to pay for the level of care we would want to give our own pets.

Why don’t you ship dogs to their adopters?
Our process is designed to minimize stress and anxiety for our rescues. They are our priority. In the foster home, the dog is in an environment where they are comfortable and with people they trust. This is the best place for a dog you are adopting to meet you. It’s also the best place for you to first meet your new dog because you will see exactly what they are like at that point. We want you to meet them before the adoption takes place so that you are free to decide not to adopt if they are not what you expected. We want each of our rescues to go into a home where they are totally wanted.

How do I find HALO on Facebook?
We do not have a public Facebook page, however we do invite all of our adopters to join our private Facebook page. Due to the nature of our work, we want to keep our rescue activities confidential from puppy mill owners and others who support mills.

Can I adopt a housetrained Havanese?
The short answer is no. Our rescues vary in terms of the progress they have made with housetraining while being cared for by their fosters. Some are doing very well by the time they are adopted while others are not at all. However, regardless of their progress, most of our rescues will regress for a while when they are adopted. As well, often puppy mill rescues will regress somewhat throughout their lives when family life becomes stressful, or there are major changes such as a move. 

Where does HALO get funding?
We rely on adoption fees and donations, and two fundraising events annually – our online auction and annual calendar sales. We do not rent offices nor have paid staff. We are an all-volunteer rescue with a board of directors that all volunteer too. We ensure that 100% of the money we raise through adoption fees and donations is used to rescue Havanese. Because our fosters often donate food and other supplies, most of our funding is used to cover the veterinary needs of our rescues.

What if I have questions after I adopt a rescue or I find that challenges comes up and I’m not sure what to do?
We are committed to providing ongoing support to our adopters throughout the life of our rescues. We have a mentoring program where we pair up adopters with experienced HALO members and we also invite all of our adopters to join our Facebook group so that we can share information with them. As well, we are always happy to help and you can email or call us with any questions.

What happens to the dog if I don't adopt him/her? 
Our rescues remain with their fosters until we find the right family for them, no matter how long that takes. 

Why do I have to go through the interview process before I meet the dog?  What if he/she isn't a good fit for my family?
Although we ask whether you are interested in a particular dog, it is not until after you are approved that we know enough about you in order to determine whether you are the best fit for that particular dog. If you are approved, and we find that the dog you are interested in isn’t a good fit, then we will work with you to find a dog that is a good fit. Once you are approved, we are happy to arrange for you to meet a dog prior to committing to adoption.

Why can't I submit an online application?
Our experience has been that having applications submitted by mail enables our applicants to take the time to carefully consider whether they have the patience and time necessary to adopt one of our rescues. As well, the application fee needs to be mailed anyway. 

How long does it take after I mail in my application before someone from HALO contacts me?
We try to contact applicants within a week after receiving their application. Our timing is partly dependent on how many applications we have received around that time. We are a small, all-volunteer organization and have only a few people conducting interviews.

What if things don't work out after I adopt?
Our adoption contract requires that if, for any reason, you cannot keep the dog you adopt, he/she must be returned to us. We understand that sometimes a dog turns out not to be a good fit after adoption, even though we strive to find the right fit for you and our rescue. We do ask that our adopters wait several weeks before making this determination since moving a dog from their foster home to their adopted home is always an anxiety-provoking experience for them and they need time to adjust.

Do these dogs have a lot of health problems?
Most of our rescues come to us with no significant health problems. Some do have health issues, and we disclose their health history as we know it to our adopters. In general, we find that our rescues don’t experience significant health issues any more frequently than any other Havanese.