Rescuing Dogs: Don’t Shop, Adopt!

Video posted April 28, 2014 in News by Jill Caldwell



A few months after the Beideman family had to put down their sick pooch, Maria, Tori and her family rescued Nina from Rescue Express in Media, Pa.  Losing Maria was hard, but they knew they didn't want to be without a canine member of the family.

If you have been considering adding a dog to your family, a rescue is something to consider.  In eastern Pennsylvania, Harley’s Haven is a rescue comprised of a network of foster homes as well as a few veterinary clinics. 

After Beth Mehaffey, adopted her first dog, Harley, from a woman who admitted to abusing him, she was inspired to help more dogs which led to the establishment of Harley’s Haven Dog Rescue.

Now, it rescues dogs from a variety of shelters, including a shelter in Philadelphia and two other shelters in the south.

Once you cross over the “Wipe your Paws” mat in Harley’s Haven at the Pennridge Animal Hospital location, you are greeted by a half-dozen grinning, caring people and a few of their closest furry friends.  This network of locations and foster homes has been working to help one dog at a time get into a loving home for the past three years. Since 2011, co-founders Mehaffey and Karen Smith estimate that they have rescued approximately 300 dogs.

The original group that started Harley’s Haven included Ame Truesdell, Jen Heller, Tom Mehaffey (Beth’s husband) and, of course, the rescued pup himself, Harley.

Mehaffey said adopting is important.  “The core of it is that there are just too many dogs that people don’t want. Those dogs did nothing wrong and are great dogs that were born into an unfortunate situation… All of the dogs out there in a shelter about to be put asleep are more than enough dogs for all of the people looking for a dog.”

Everyone at Harley’s Haven works hard to help “one less” dog to be stuck without a loving home.

Mehaffey and Heller are veterinarians and along with their rescue, they opened the Pennridge Animal Hospital practice.  Smith said that in the future, Harley’s Haven wants to be more centrally run out of this location and have the ability and space to house dogs there in the event that no foster homes are available.   Smith said, “This would also allow people to come into our facility and meet the puppies and dogs.”

The owners of Harley's Haven to reach out to the rescues in your own area to discuss fostering or adopting a dog who needs a loving home. 


Building A Family and Rescuing Dogs

The Smith Family extends further than Jim, Karen and their daughter Shannon.  Since 1990, Cori, Hannah, Cole and Montana have joined them (at various times) and changed their lives.  Cori was two before Shannon was even born and once Cori passed away, the Smiths knew they would need to rescue another dog.  In the time since, their family grew from three to six while inspiring all three of them to get involved with dog rescues (specifically Harley's Haven). Karen is a Co-Founder of Harley's Haven, Jim helps out with their website and Shannon volunteers with the rescue. 


For more information, visit Harley’s Haven’s website at and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter: @HarleysHaven222

Facebook: Harley’s Haven