Unfortunately there's another bad experience with HHGDR. As others have posted, the adoption process is tough... Apparently too tough to let ANY dog go. After meeting all the criteria, we were denied for an adoption. When asking for more information on the reasoning, we were given a very generic, "to protect the review process, we don't share that information". I understand that they have to be cautious, however there's no need to be rude, shady, or flat out disrespectful. Avoid them at all costs.
Well...it looks like they haven't changed any since 2004 when I experienced the same rudeness from the organization's "owner". I've had 5 Dane companions in my lifetime.....at that time 3....all three living to above the expected age of a Dane; 9, 13, and 12. All died of natural causes and were EXTREMELY healthy after starting out their lives in bad circumstances. Yes, that's right, I adopt my Danes, but not from Harlequin Haven. I currently have 2 Danes, one is deaf from birth as she is white and she will be 10 years old this month; the other girl is 12 years old this month. They both still play like pups with their balls and love taking walks with me.
I visited there about 6 months after my 3rd Dane had passed and was treated with suspicion and disgust. My feeling about the whole experience was that they think no one else besides themselves are capable of loving a Dane as well as they can. Which is very sad because Danes deserve better lives than being in cages most of their day and only being let out to run around once or twice a day. They deserve a FAMILY that loves them, not caretakers. They deserve to lie in front of a fireplace with their owners, walks through the woods with their FAMILY, time to play ball with THEIR OWN FAMILY.
This place is a joke and if you watch their web site with any regularity, you will see Danes that are at that place for YEARS. They have a few "special" adopters that get to adopt but they are few and far between and that's why the Danes just don't get out of there. I've contacted our local shelter and BEGGED them not to call HH Haven when they get Danes in as they are committing them to a certain jail time for the rest of their life.
I have adopted from, volunteered, served on the board, and donated to Harlequin Haven. As an adopter I have filled out lengthy paperwork. I have done awareness events to advocate for this regal breed and life altering rescue as a volunteer. I have been on both sides of the fence when it comes to placing a dane in a family as a board member. I have given monetary contributions to keep this much needed vessel afloat as a donor. I have seen many sides of this organization and can attest that all are for the greater good of the breed. The organization and its affiliates are the voice for the Great Danes in their care. Look at it like this....if someone came to you and wanted to have one of your children but lied about the care provided to their other kids, would you likely respond in a friendly manner? Harlequin Haven is all about finding the best homes for the dogs in their care.
I discovered and have been adopting from Harlequin Haven since 1999. I have adopted 5 Danes from them over the years and I could not be happier with all the help, support and guidance I have received from day one. I have also volunteered for Harlequin Haven since the time of my first adoption as I felt so strongly that this rescue was doing so much for homeless Danes (and other dogs) that are in very great need. I have seen Danes come into Harlequin Haven that have been severely abused and neglected, and then I watched them heal mentally and physically through all the love and help of the volunteers as they are adopted into loving homes. Yes, the adoption policies and procedures are strict, but every guideline is there for a reason and for the protection of the Danes who have already gone through too much before coming to Harlequin Haven. I am very grateful to have found Harlequin Haven and I will always continue to adopt and volunteer there as I believe what they are doing for homeless Great Danes is amazing!
I used to have a rescue myself and I have dealt with Harlequin Haven for over 15 yrs. I have found them to be one of the most reputable groups around. Their mission is to protect the dogs at all cost. They go over and beyond to help a dog in need especially a Dane, but they do not turn their backs on others. They are a strict rescue when it comes to adoption which upsets many but I have seen many people that were turned down for adoption come back a year or 2 later to dump their Dane and they admit that HHGDR was right, that they could not afford to care for a Dane or a Dane just was not for them. I have seen Danes that have arrived at the rescue on deaths doorstep and the love, care and devotion given at this rescue has saved many lives. HHGDR takes in Danes that most rescues would turn away yet they open their hearts to all they can.
HHGDR is a rescue to be respected and admired. Too bad there are not more rescues just like them!
I adopted from Harlequin Haven Great Dane Rescue in 2012 and was so thrilled with the great knowledge of the breed and the care taken of the dogs in their rescue. The adoption procedure was tuff but I totally understood why they do what they do. These volunteers take Danes that are sometimes in horrible condition and they nurse them back to health. There requirements are not bad if you have loved and cared for your previous pets.
Once you adopt a dog from Harlequin Haven Great Dane Rescue you are family and they are there for you for the rest of your life and the dogs.
They need to learn to treat people as well as they do animals. Their pups may be treated well but not well enough for me to deal with them or to recommend them, and that is a sad sad thing for me to say. After putting in an application to adopt, I also referred a volunteer. Needless to say, one conversation later I withdrew my application and went to another large breed rescue to complete an adoption. I will let the volunteer post their own review but suffice it to say, the potential volunteer, once again, has too much time on hand...... Such a shame, after all, it is a good mission worth supporting, just not through this organization.
Review from Guidestar
I began volunteering several years ago after purchasing 2 great dane pups and then realizing that rescue is the only way to go. I am not able to participate as much as I'd like, but I do try to do what I can. I initially had my heart set on a dane that was very fearful of people, and at that time I still had several children at home. Our family went to see Joe and we could tell he would not be a good fit at that time. Later, I spoke with the person who runs the rescue and thanked her for letting me see it for myself--she knew it wasn't going to work out at that time. Once my children moved out she felt he could go home with us and we have had 4 wonderful years with him. We have also adopted 2 other danes there and are thinking about another in the near future. Even when a volunteer applies for a dog, they still do a home inspection (very thorough), vet references, etc. My vet's employees are also very good to answer questions and give a thorough reference--no one needs to talk to the vet with the girls doing such a good job.
There has to be a good reason to deny an application. Do you really think we want to keep these dogs at the rescue and not give them a loving family? We want them placed well and to fit in, be loved and cared for, and NOT be returned to the rescue. I've seen dogs returned and it is absolutely heartbreaking. That is the reason hhgdr is so picky!!! At the same time, I would challenge anyone to find a rescue that is more caring--not to say there aren't some ass good, but these dogs get the best care and love we can give them. The buildings are completely (and I mean COMPLETELY) cleaned every week, the dogs are vetted appropriately, and there is every attempt made to place them in good, loving homes that are a good fit.
I do understand it would be upsetting to be denied, but we are only doing what we think is best for the dog. After all, that's what the rescue is all about.
As a volunteer for Harlequin Haven, I’ve been impressed with the high quality care the dogs receive at the rescue. Dogs that have been abused, starved, beaten are given personal, loving care and brought back to good health ready to be adopted. No dog is adopted without a temperament and health check. The adoption rules are stringent but necessary. These dogs have already been through so much that a careful check of potential adopters is necessary. These dogs deserve the best. Applications are checked for dishonesty or misleading statements. The goal is to find a safe, forever home where the Dane will be well cared for, loved, and welcomed into the family. After adoption, adopters are not left on their own. The rescue is there for them 24/7 to help the Dane and the new family if problems arise.
We adopted 2 Danes from HHGDR and were very impressed with the care and attention taken at every step of the process. HHGDR have the most thorough application process of all the rescues/shelters we looked at, which clearly shows their level of commitment to finding the right forever home for their dogs. The relationship does not end when they hand the dog over either, they are always there to offer support and advice for the continued care of these wonderful giants. I have been so impressed with the amazing care they give these dogs that I became a volunteer to help in some small way.
I could not recommend them more highly.